Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why wait for an auction to buy a condo?

Auction of condominiums have been on the rise in this recent market and while I am sure there are good deals to be had you have to avoid getting ‘caught in the moment’ and bidding more than you planned. It also comes with complications such as having financing set up prior to the auction, etc. But you can avoid these extra complications and still get a good deal outside of an auction. I recently represented a buyer who purchased a brand new condominium unit in a building where several units were auctioned. In my opinion my buyer did better than anyone at the auction. While I cannot say this indisputably because not all units are the same, I say it with much confidence. The reason I was able to negotiate effectively for my client was not only because of my charm, negotiating ability and my nearly 15 years of experience, but because builders who are selling condominiums are very flexible and are willing to negotiate on the purchase price outside of an auction. In addition, unlike during an auction you can ask for (and it is not unheard of to receive) concessions for such things as a better parking spot, for some upgrades to the unit, for the builder to buy down the rate on the loan, etc.

So do not wait for an auction if you are interested in buying a condo; I can assist you. Learn more about me by clicking on my name: Nate Pearson.

First Time Home Buyer Credit Extended!

The first time home buyer credit of $8,000 which was due to lapse at the end of the month is in the process of being extended for seven months. Also there is a new credit of $6,500 for home buyers that have lived in the same place for 5 years. More details to come.

Seattle Times

Friday, October 16, 2009

How long does it take to fill a hole?

I guess it matters how big it is...but if it is as big as the hole on Second and Pine behind the Bon Marche parking lot (yeah, I know it is no longer the Bon Marche, although there is still a sign saying Bon Marche on the northwest corner) then it takes eight to ten weeks. The developers still plan to build a condo/hotel project there but in the mean time they are going to operate the filled in hole as a parking lot until the capital market stabilizes. It cannot be cheap to fill in a hole especially it takes 2 months to do so, so the project has to be years away.

Seattle Times

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Woodway Mansion Voted Down

Woodway is voting down a $6.1 million bond measure that would have been used to purchase a 1930's mansion to convert into the city hall and community center. See Seattle Times for more details. The reason it caught my attention is this would have been the largest purchase in Woodway since Ewing & Clark sold a 9 acre estate in December 2006. See Woodway Estate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New condo building websites coming soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Overall Sales Numbers for July

There was an interesting article in the Seattle Times today:


The article concentrates on homes sales (be sure to read about Condos below). In short, what the article says is when you divide the local area in 5 parts (Seattle, Eastside, North King County, Southwest King County, and Southeast King County) and compare the number of house (not condos) sales from July 2009 versus July 2008 you see an increase of the number of transaction in 4 of the 5 areas (North King County was only area with less transactions: 66 versus 67 transaction in the previous year). But prices are down between 12% and 14.3%. The article goes back and forth with theories of whether this means the market is at the bottom. For example, the argument for prices may go up is the theory that demand is raising thus prices will too. The other side says with the $8,000 tax credit for new buyers set to end on November 30th and with foreclosures that are presumed to not have peaked in our area that the prices will continue to stay low.


What many will miss in the article, is you have to be sure to click on the arrows and see graph 2 of 3. It takes the same 5 areas (Seattle, Eastside, North King County, Southwest King County, and Southeast King County) as it did for the homes and shows the number of transactions and the median sales price and compares July 2009 versus July 2008. Unlike homes, condos sales transactions are only up in one area: Eastside which is up 8.7%. The other areas are either even (North King County) or down between 14.5% to 37.5%. In addition to the number of transactions being down in most areas, the prices are down in all areas (between 10% and 26.1%). While I think these numbers can be skewed a little bit because the number of transactions there are in certain areas (ex. North King had 13 condo sales in both July 2009 and July 2008) which makes total price comparison a little tricky - a better comparison would have been price per square foot - it still shows prices overall are down for condos as it is for homes.

While these numbers, article, and blog may seem daunting, it still may be the perfect time to buy a condominium. The tax credit for first time home buyers is set to sunset on November 30th, armed with the the market data and real estate expertise one of our agents may be able to find you the perfect condominium for your budget.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Living Without a Car

Living without a car in a major American city sounds daunting, however Seattle is one of those wonderful city that makes it so easy to do without an automobile, in a month you will wonder why you ever bothered.

There are condos for every budget and taste, close to urban markets world class shopping, fine dining or great cafes with simple pub fair or ethnic food from around the world.

Walk to work and window shop along the way or stop at one of the millions of Coffee Bars Seattle is famous for. There is a strong sense of community that is unparalleled in most large cities.

People are moving into the city forsaking the suburbs where everything is miles apart, to enjoy coming home from work walking to dinner and catching a movie , a play or going on the famous art walk and never need to step into a car.

Shopping at the famous Pike Place Market is like living in a European city where everything is the freshest available, and you buy from your favorite fish monger or Bakery or Vegetable stand. Pick up an arm load of flowers for next to nothing, they stay fresh because they were picked that morning. What a great way to spend your Saturday Morning, instead of fighting traffic to go to Safeway!

The transit system is easy and buses are free in the core area, you can hop the train and pop down to the International district for dum sum or take the monorail to Seattle Center for any number of festivals.

All of this and you don't have to circle the block looking for a place to park and when you do paying an arm and a leg for the priviledge. You are free ! While others are still looking for the elusive place to park you are seated and drinking a lovely glass of wine.

For a tour of the available condos downtown contact one of our "in city " experts and we can take a stroll and look for your new home. Just a hop skip and a jump from everything!
Ewing and Clark is your "go-to" firm to show you your new home and carefree lifestyle.

Monday, August 3, 2009

King County Condominium Sales Data - July 2009 & 2008

In July 2009, 384 condos sold in King County. The median sales price was $250,000 or $247 per square foot and a median days on the market of 50 days.

This compare with the previous July where 459 condos sold, for a median price of $268,000 or $276 per square foot and a median of 49 days on the market.

When comparing July 2009 with July 2008, the days on the market went almost unchanged (up only 1 day from 2008), but the total sales were down and the price per square foot was down a little over 10%.

The July 2009 numbers are very similar from the previous month's numbers (see my blog dated July 7th on the June data). The number with the biggest change is the number of units sold which is down about 5% from the 406 condos sold in June 2009, but compared to last June and July that is a minor drop in the number of sales when sales dropped over 12%.

From this data, one could conclude that prices have been steady the last two months and the pricing is reasonable especially when compared to last year.

The Vine is Belltown

One of my favorite buildings in Belltown is the Vine. They have units for every pocketbook , if you want a studio you can get a nice unit in great building for under $300,000, if you want a large luxurious penthouse that is available as well, for plus or minus a million dollars.

The community is friendly, the dog owners know the other dog people and they know all the dogs names. There is a wonderful common area deck that over looks Elliott Bay that is ideal for coming home, taking a bottle of wine and relaxing with your neighbors, taking in the breathtaking view or just reading a book. There are comfortable chairs, tables, and grills; and it is beautifully planted with huge pots to enjoy and not have to take care of - it is done for you.

The units are stylish with gas gourmet kitchens, well thought out floor plans that are not just cookie cutter. Many of the two bedrooms have two parking spaces: that is a rarity in the city.

The building is kept is great condition , and the staff is friendly and very helpful. The concierge is helpful in all sorts of ways from accepting packages to providing good 24 hour security.

The Vine is one of the best, in city living, with style, security, and comfort. To see more of this wonderful building call Ewing and Clark at 206-441-7900

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finding the perfect downtown condo

The idea of buying a condo in the heart of Seattle can be pretty daunting, what price range can you afford ? What are the best buildings? Which buildings match your lifestyle? What building hold their value? The process can be confusing and frustrating.

We are here to help ! Ewing and Clark has been around for over a hundred years and we have grown with Seattle, having been a part of the Urban community as long as there has been an urban community. Our extensive knowledge of real estate downtown, both in commercial and residential can help you make intelligent decisions and find the home of your dreams.

We can create a team of professionals to help you find the best mortgage rates, title company, and agent . these people will be part of a team with you as the leader. You tell us what you want and we will find it for you. Want a loft, We know where the best ones are. Want a high rise with a view of the sound, we know every building , and which ones are sound and retain value and which ones don't. Want a pet friendly building, we will find it for you. Want high ceilings and hardwood floors with old world charm or a steel and concrete state of the art building, we can help.

Call Ewing and Clark and we can find you just what you want and we can make it fun in the process, you can shop and we will do the footwork. Come on in to our showroom just north of Pike Place Market , tell us what you want and we will find it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Queen Anne Six Unit Project on the Market!

Yesterday, I went by our new listings on Dexter Avenue. They are finally done and they are spectacular.

Four of the condos are larger units. For example, this unit with sweeping views of Lake Union is over 2,000 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

Two of the units are smaller live/work spaces. For example, this unit is 800 square feet with 1 bedroom and 1.5 baths.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

King County Condominium Sales Data - June 2009 & 2008

This is my second monthly blog on this topic (please see previous blog which compares May of each year). These are the numbers per the Northwest Multiple Service:

In June 2009, 406 condominiums sold in King County with a median sales price of $250,000 or $251 a square foot. The median days on the market were 48 days.

In June 2008, 526 condominiums sold in King County with a median sales price of $294,750 or $292 a square foot. The median days on the market were 55 days.

The June 2009 median days on the market went down from not only last year of the same month but also from May 2009. This may be because sellers are more aggressive on price. The median condo sold in June 2009 for $251 square foot compared to $292 a year prior and $266 in May 2009.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exciting new condo project on Queen Anne

I am pleased to announce the near completion of an exciting new condo project on Dexter Avenue. 'The Block' is a 6-unit concrete and steel mixed use project designed by Stannard-Conway and Bloch Development. Concrete, wood panels, metal siding and a braced frame make up the palette of exterior materials for a contemporary design in an urban context. The interiors of each unit contain a double height living space, wood and steel stair that connects each floor to the roof deck. The residential units range from 2000-2400sf with huge roof decks. The front units enjoy panoramic views of Lake Union and downtown Seattle. The live/works are about 1,000sf with a cool spiral staircase, two baths, and separate garage. The design and finishes of these units are really spectacular. We're shooting for a grand opening the 2ND week of July. Stay tuned.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Found it!

Here is the article I was looking for. Like I said in the previous post, the article basically says that Seattle's real estate market is in better shape than most because of our strict building standards and our geography (surrounded by water) limited the over building when compared to other cities.

See link for the entire article:

Looking for a real estate article and I found this fishy story...

I was looking for a real estate article on, where it talks about the health of the Seattle real estate market compared to the rest of the country. The basic gist (which I always thought was spelled "jist") of the article I was looking for is because of our stringent building standards and our geography (surrounded by water) Seattle will recover quicker than other U.S. cities. I will continue to look for online version of the article so I can link to it, but in the mean time I found this article: . In summary, this other article says that a veterinary convention invited our local celebrity fish tossers from the Pike Place Market to create a "team-building experience." But PETA raised concerns about it and now the plans are on hold. The article is not clear on this, but I think PETA is more concerned about the fish being treated as props at a convention than with fish being tossed across a counter to someone who is purchasing the fish to eat it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

King County Condominium Sales Data - May 2009 & 2008

I posted a blog ( ) on the rental data in the Northwest Multiple Service (NWMLS) which got me thinking about the residential condominium sales data. This is what I found per the NWMLS:

In May 2009, 322 condominiums sold in King County for a median price of $272,950 or $266 per square foot with a median of 54 days on the market.

In May 2008, 544 condominiums sold in King County for a median price of $287,700 or $295 per square foot with a median of 44 days on the market.