Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mercer Island Mansion Auctioned for a Mere $12 Million?

Going once, going twice, sold for $12 million. This winning (and minimum) bid was accepted for the purchase of a 23,000 square foot Mercer Island mansion which sold in late June. The home, originally listed 6 years ago at $40 million, was placed in the hands of a New York auction firm in February to be sold. The home’s winning bid was 30 percent of its original list price. Although there are perks to home auctions, such as a quicker closing and typically serious buyers, there are also some downfalls. Buying a home in an auction usually leaves no room for negotiation, one of the perks of a traditional home sale. Auctions may also be more costly to the seller than the conventional route. Finally, because auctions are usually characterized by the urgency to sell, sellers may not always receive full market value for their property.

Ewing & Clark currently holds the record for the most expensive Mercer Island home sold. Sold by agent Betsy Terry in 2009, the selling price exceeds that of the recently auctioned mansion by over 29 percent.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is this title misleading? Real Estate Sales Up in King County

If you skimmed the Seattle Times on Wednesday you might think so. Yesterday, I turned to this business section of the Seattle Times and saw the real estate article with the title: "Pending home sales fall as credits vanish." I was surprised with the title because the residential real estate market has been relatively strong at least in transactions that our company has brokered since the second half of last year. In addition, agents had recently reported to me that they had been losing houses for their clients to multiple offers, and this is after the market was suppose to slow down with the sunset of tax credits on April 30th. So the title seemed odd, and then I looked at the graphs and sales in June 2010 compared to June 2009 are up in all the areas listed in King County except Seattle. Sales in Seattle were down 6.2% (560 from 597), but up on the Eastside +25.8% (638 from 507), North King County + 29.6% (70 from 54), Southwest King County 12.8% (194 from 172) and Southeast King County 29.7% (406 from 313). So the title could be anything: "Sales up over last year"; "Real Estate market still strong"; etc. The paper decided to go in a different direction. In the end, the title was correct. The data backs up what the title states, so I cannot fault the Times, especially when I saw another local paper put the same spin on the numbers. Still, it made me think of the saying: "Figures lie, and liars figure."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence Day!

It’s fast approaching. Barbecues, parades, and most importantly-fireworks! That’s right, Independence Day is right around the corner and where and how do you plan on spending your 4th of July weekend?!! There are a bevy of locations around the Seattle area to experience the festivities and take part in the action. If you’re not going to the Family 4th at Lake Union celebration (which you should be because it was almost canceled and yours truly donated to help keep it alive!), there are other places that you can celebrate the good ol’ USA’s birthday! Below is a list of a few alternatives.
8th Annual Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic
This event will take place on Saturday July 3rd at noon and will feature live music and games. This event is great for families with children.

Ballard Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
On Sunday, the Seattle Civic Band will have its annual concert featuring patriotic classics.

Bainbridge Island Grand Old Fourth of July Parade and Community Celebration
The celebration begins in the morning with a pancake breakfast and the parade begins at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

25th Annual Naturalization Ceremony
Located at the Center House in Seattle Center, the newest American citizens will take their vows on Sunday starting at noon.

Bellevue Family 4th
This event takes place at the Bellevue Parks Family Fun Zone from 2:00 p.m-8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Burien Independence Day Parade
The parade downtown begins at 3:00 pm on Sunday.

Museum of Flight’s The Twenty-Seven Flags of the U.S.
The celebration salutes all 27 versions of the American Flag over its history and takes place between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Swedish Cultural Center
Beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunday, there will be music, dancing and a place to view the Lake Union fireworks.

Fireworks Cruise
Taking off in Kirkland at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, passengers will enjoy the buffet and viewing of the fireworks.

If you decide to skip the big activities and enjoy the festivities privately, there are plenty of places in Seattle that offer a view of a fireworks display. Regardless of what you plan on doing, have fun, be safe, and remember: Fireworks are illegal in Seattle (aside from those used in shows requiring a city permit) so just stick to ground spinners and sparklers. Happy 4th of July!!