Friday, December 28, 2012

Alcyone Apartments Gets a Makeover

In the next few years Vulcan Real Estate plans to do some renovating in the Alcyone Apartment complex in South Lake Union. According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, the 161 unit building built back in 2003 will receive several upgrades including new appliances, and new fitness equipment for the community gym. Kitchens will receive Energy Star refrigerators and dishwashers, which will be installed to improve energy efficiency, and outdoor furniture will also be added to the amenities of the complex.
Other upgrades are to include single stacked washers and dryers in units, quartz counter tops in both the kitchen and bathrooms, and new plank flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as new carpet in some additional rooms. Units will be re-painted, and some rooms will receive new sinks and faucets, new cabinet faces in the loft units, and updated bathroom lighting and hardware. In a press release, Vulcan has expressed that the upgrades should help the Alcyone stay competitive in the neighborhood, with all of the new building proposals, and developments already underway. For more information about the apartments or availability visit Alcyone today.

Friday, December 21, 2012

SCCC Makes Room For Student Housing on Broadway

apartmentApparently Seattle University isn’t the only school with plans in the works to expand their student housing. Seattle Central Community College is also busy at work towards utilizing some of their Broadway property as student housing. Seattle Central’s President has told Capitol Hill Seattle president that the college has an interest in a partnership with Capitol Hill Housing, and is currently exploring new ways to expand their student housing.
The Seattle Community College District put in a mail center for the College on Broadway a few years back, and in a recent Capitol Hill Housing board meeting, plans for the building were brought to light. SCCC intends to partner with Capitol Hill Housing to develop that space into a six story student housing  building, with the first floor dedicated for commercial space. Stay tuned for future updates on the building’s progression!

Monday, December 10, 2012

King County Housing Inventory Extremely Low

The NWMLS just released the King County residential real estate statistics and the hot topic is inventory is extremely low. King County single family homes for sale (excluding condos) are down 43% since last year.  At the end of November there were 3,720 listings for sale in the county compared to 6,487 last November.
This lack of inventory is causing prices to increase, median prices are up 20% from last November ($424,900 vs. $355,000), and average days on the market to decrease 9% from this time last year (115 days vs. 126 days).
Most real estate experts believe the reason for the low inventory is rental rates continue to rise and even with the recovery in pricing home values are still only matching what the prices were in early 2005.  Thus if you bought your house any time the last 8 years, it is likely better to stay in your home if you can.
Case Shiller Seattle
Questions about the Greater Seattle real estate market, contact Ewing and Clark.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ace Hardware to Move into the Securities Building Downtown

If you live in and around downtown, you’ll be thankful to hear that the city is finally getting a downtown hardware store. The Myers Group announced that they will be opening an Ace Hardware in the Securities building on 4th and Stewart in the first quarter of 2013. The store will be spread across 7,500 sf of retail space, catering to the ever growing population of city dwellers as well as businesses, creating a convenient place to grab your essentials such as hammers, fasteners and tools on the fly.
The Myers Group has said they’ve been looking for the right location for years, and they’re pleased a hardware store will now be able to assist the downtown population.  “The location adjacent to Bed, Bath & Beyond is a very complimentary fit for a hardware store and the Myers Group and Clise Properties were equally eager to make the terms of the lease work,” said Tom Graff, president of commercial at Ewing & Clark, who leased the space to the Myers Group. “When Richard Stevenson came to me to seek a quality retailer of the space, Tyler Myers was one of my first calls. His store will be a tremendous asset to the area and satisfy a steady request from downtown residential focus groups.” For more information and updates about the space, visit the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Lose Your Dream Home to Another Buyer

As a renter, it’s possible you’ve toyed with the idea of buying, browsed available homes in your price range, or taken advice from friends and family in Real Estate. A word of advice if you’re ready to take the leap; don’t let your dream home be the one that got away. In your home search, you want to have no regrets and be absolutely certain that you’re the perfect match, and you don’t want to lose the right one to another buyer because you clammed up at the last minute.

Make sure your financials are in order whether your paying cash or getting a mortgage, and be prepared to provide your real estate agent with your proof of funds right away so they have that information on file when you submit an offer. Be positive this is a home you’ll be happy in for the long haul, and although you’ll likely have to compromise on certain issues, do your homework and make sure it has everything you and your family will need. With low inventory in the Seattle Market and the Puget Sound area, know that you’re not the only one likely interested in your home. There is potential for bidding wars, so if you know the time is right make an offer when you’re ready.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Aspira Sells For $165.7 Mil

The Aspira apartment building Downtown near South Lake Union was bought by T-C Aspira LLC on Thursday November 1 for $165.7 million, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. Urban Partners and O’Conner Capital Partners developed the 37 story building, which has 325 units, and 6,500 sf of retail space.
The price per unit of this building after the sale is far beyond anything in the Puget Sound area. Based on the availability,the price per unit has been configured to $509,760 per unit, not including the retail space. For more information on the sale and building, visit the Aspira Apartments website.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Seattle Ranks High in Best 2013 Real Estate Markets

The nation’s real estate market is slowly recovering after the long haul, and 2013 is said to be the year for a turn around. According to the Seattle Pi, San Francisco is predictably the #1 city, with Seattle trailing shortly behind with a secondary market. Investors are leaning towards Real Estate because despite the slow recovery they are still able to profit.
The Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report by the Urban Land Institute indicated that San Francisco landed the # 1 spot due to tech, trade, and quality of life in the city along with neighbor San Jose which ranked 3rd on the list. Seattle, along with Houston, was highly ranked because of the growing number of “echo boomers” or those 25-34 year olds. This group has increased by 20% in Seattle, and reflect the future homeowners in the area. Right now the statistics show that this group is currently willing to rent smaller apartments for higher prices as long as they have enticing amenities and close proximity to public transportation. When will the echo boomers make the transition to buyers? Predictably 2013. For more information on the Emerging Trends report, visit the Urban Land Institute.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apartments Sold on Greyhound Station Block to Become Mega Hotel

Last week there were some notable commercial sales in and around Seattle, including one in the Denny Triangle that is staged to make way for a Mega Hotel downtown!
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle based R.C. Hedreen Co. purchased two high rise apartment buildings on the same block as the Greyhound bus terminal for $7 million, and they have plans to build a 1,200 room hotel. Hedreen hopes  to get traffic from the convention center, and has since met with city officials to discuss early design guidance, and a possible office tower could be constructed on 8th and 9th Streets along Howell & Stewart. For more information on this project, follow the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Maintenance Tips to Safeguard Your Home for Fall

As you know Fall in Western Washington can be quite wet, and it’s important whether you rent or own your home to take proper precautions to ensure your home is prepared for fall and winter conditions.

You can check the foundation for cracks in caulking around the exterior where pipes and wires enter the house, and especially around windows and door frames in older homes, to stifle heat from escaping through the cracks! Be sure get the problem taken care of as soon as possible, because even the slightest crack can cause water to get in and freeze, sometimes resulting in extensive mold damages. If you're renting, check with your landlord if the roof was checked recently for damages that could lead to leakage, and put away summer tools and lawn furniture. Clean your screen doors, and store for the winter, as winter conditions can damage these as well. For more information on how to best prepare your home in the fall, visit Zillow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Influx of New Hotels Planned for Downtown Seattle

The Downtown Seattle metro area has not seen any hotels break ground in the past two years, and there are no current plans for any to go under construction in the next upcoming months. But according to the Seattle Times, all that might change this year, with current hotels having successful bookings, with little trouble filling rooms, and they’re able to have consistently higher rates. Developers are feeling more confident with those statistics in place, and are moving forward by proposing more hotels pop up in the downtown area.
Downtown Seattle Sheraton, photo courtesy of
Downtown Seattle Sheraton, photo courtesy of

According to the Times, one of those proposals includes a hotel with 1,200+ rooms, which is larger than any hotel in the area except for the Seattle Sheraton hotel. If all of the projects presented were to be built, the Seattle hotel industry would increase by more than 15 percent. Developers like Touchstone, Kauri, and Daniels Development among others all have projects in various stages of planning for construction, and Seattleites looking for hotel living should keep an eye out for upcoming hotel projects that include apartment rentals or sales planned into the space as well. For more information on upcoming projects in the Downtown Seattle area, visit the Seattle Times.

Monday, August 20, 2012

King County Homes Prices Up 7% in July

As we’ve mentioned a few different times, King County Home Prices are on the rise, and according to the Seattle Times, the stats for July are all up across the board too. Last month, King County home prices rose 7.2% compared to July 2011, making this the fourth straight month in a row to see an increase. While the rise continues, July didn’t see as big of an increase as June had; with the median home price listed for $375,250 in July which was about a 1% drop from June.
There has also been a drop in inventory of homes on the market, which is a huge factor. According to the Times, inventory in King County is the lowest it’s been since 2006, and the number of potential buyers vs. sellers is playing a huge role in the market. More people are opting to rent to avoid costly mortgage debt, as they’ve seen more frequently than before. One thing is certain, the confidence in buyers in Seattle is spreading, and sales could have even possibly been higher if the lack of inventory were higher.

Monday, August 6, 2012

West Seattle Estate For Sale: $2,250,000

West Seattle Home For Sale: $2,250,000

This West Seattle Estate has breathtaking bluff views of the Olympics and the Northwest Islands! The beautiful grounds, including the garden out front have been well maintained and the deck out back practically sells the estate itself. This 5 bed, 3.25 bath has old world charm, with all of the amenities, a wonderful sun room, and the grace of a by-gone era. The living room and kitchen have huge bay windows looking out across the Sound, as do the majority of other rooms in this massive 6,350 sf space. For more information on this luxury home, or other properties in the surrounding Seattle area, visit Ewing & Clark Inc.

Monday, July 23, 2012

King County Homes See Double Digit Rise

Washington Park Home listed for $3,895,000
This has been the third straight month in a row that we’ve seen a year over year price increase in King County, and it’s definitely the largest! According to the Seattle Times, for the first time in five years, we’ve seen a double digit increase, with the median value in homes estimated at $380,000, a 10.1% rise since June of last year. The last time there was a year over year double digit increase was back in 2007, when the median also hit an all time high of $481,000.

After the high, the inevitable countrywide median housing drop occurred, falling nearly 36% nationwide, dropping down to $308,125  this past February. According to the Times, this June was a jaw dropper, with 23 or 29 King County areas experiencing a year over year increase, with 13 of them in the double digits! While not as impressive as King County, Snohomish and Kitsap County also saw slight increases, and condo prices in King County went up nearly 5% as well. For more information on the price of homes in King County, visit Ewing & Clark Inc.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Washington Park Home: $6,950,000

This remarkable private estate in the Washington Park neighborhood was recently listed for $6,950,000, and is noted for it’s stunning Colonial design, and unobstructed views of Mt Rainier, the Cascades and Lake Washington.

This 5 bed, 4.25 bath on E Prospect St has an open floor plan with excellent natural sun filled rooms, great exposure to landscape views and massive floor to ceiling french doors and walls of glass in the entryway. It has a large outdoor pool, a chef’s kitchen and luxury master suite for the Mr. and Mrs. The 3 car garage is a key feature all on it’s own, with an impressive 900+sf of space, so if you’re in the market for a new place in Madison Park, contact Ewing & Clark for more information.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 5/4.25
Price: $6,950,000

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Floating Homes, Life On Top of the Water

After Sleepless in Seattle put the Seattle Floating Homes Community on the map, people have been flocking to Seattle to seek out Tom Hank’s waterfront lifestyle. Many people dream about living near the waterfront, but few take the leap to actually live on top of the water. People living on the Lake Union waterfront community live in homes that sit on buoyant platforms that are docked and plugged into our electrical grid, and receive water and sewage services from the city.

Famed Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat

There are only a few floating home communities in the US, and the Seattle Floating Homes Association has helped the community to stay afloat today. People have been living in the community for over a century now, but life on the water was not as glamorous as it’s perceived today. According to CNN Money, the waterfront community used to be used for industrial purposes and shipping services. Sewage and waste was often dumped right  into the water where their homes sat! Today floating homes can sell for as little as $200,000- $2.8 million. For more information on currently floating homes for sale, click here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Zillow Reports Home Values See High Monthly Increase

Attention Homeowners: there is hope after all for your beloved family home that holds more personal value than net worth! Last week, Real Estate website Zillow reported that both national home values and rent both rose in the month of April. According to Zillow, home values rose nationwide 0.7%, marking the largest month to month increase in value since 2006, and April is also the second month in a row for the value to increase! While King County home prices are on the rise, rent is also steadily climbing; of the 178 areas covered by the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, 78% saw an increase in rent. The housing recovery appears to be headed in the right direction after all, even though a weighted number of Americans still have homes with mortgages that are underwater, or risk being in foreclosure.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seattle Neighborhood in the Spotlight: Innis Arden

The historic Innis Arden neighborhood in the Shoreline area is in the spotlight of the Seattle Times this week; with it’s mere 534-home small town appeal, watershed park, and beautiful private beach, it’s no surprise why so many seek to call this enchanted forest home.
Photo Courtesy of

Over the past few decades, very few of the homes here have changed hands, moving from one generation to the next, and when houses were sold, they did so within days, especially those under the $1 million mark. The neighborhood itself sits on more than 675 acres, with no sidewalks in sight, and no overhead streetlights. Many of those seeking to move to the area are taking after local aerospace hero Bill Boeing, who  took off 80 years ago in search for a serene hunting and fishing retreat from his mansion in the Highlands, and stumbled upon Innis Arden. For more information on the neighborhood and it’s connection to the Highlands area, visit the Seattle Times.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seattle Condos Are On the Rise

Downtown Seattle Condos Starting to Fill Up

The past two years have not been promising for the Seattle Condo Market, and condo developers are finally starting to see a turn around in the Downtown area. According to the Seattle Times, roughly two dozen new projects were at work between 2007-2010 during the big real-estate crash. Many of those who purchased during the pre-sale backed out and several developers ended up converting their buildings to rental units to cater to the economy. Those who stuck it out had to slash prices, and in many cases had to lower the costs by up to 40 percent.
Today the market is starting to look more appealing and beginning to have the first signs that it will bounce back. One good indicator is that Escala raised some of their prices; one of the largest downtown projects to date, Escala did so quietly, with the majority of their condo units selling for 99% of the asking price, they’ve begun upping the anty as their inventory gets smaller. Also of the 2,500 condo projects that have been built in downtown and surrounding areas, fewer than 250 units are left unsold. There are currently no new projects in place; most developers and lenders have put condos on hold to allow the market to recuperate. If you’re interested in learning more about finding a condo in the Seattle area, here is a list of available units.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Buying a Home Might Not Get Much Cheaper

Many renters today are choosing to put off buying a home for several reasons, but statistics show that buying a home might not get any cheaper than it is right now. Experts say that 2012 may be the last year for buyers to take advantage of the weak housing market and foreclosure influx. According to CNN Money, home prices are down 34% nationally from 2006, and mortgage rates are at an all time low, making it the best year yet to find the bargain deal of a lifetime.
Economists with PNC Financial Services believe that home prices will flatten out by the third quarter of this year, and might begin to climb at the beginning of next year. There are several indicators that the housing market is picking up like the decline in foreclosures, and continue
d job growth nationwide, and buyers will have more access to affordable mortgages as they build their credit scores. While some prospective buyers who have been wary might be more willing to follow through because of the all-time low mortgage rates and lower home values, some renters still aren’t in a position to take the next step and will ultimately miss the grace period. For more information on the housing market, click here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Prime Madrona Real Estate For Sale

A gorgeous 1920′s Dutch Colonial in the avidly sought out Madrona real estate area, with fantastic views of Lake Washington, Bellevue skyline, Mt Rainier & Cascades recently came on the market. The completely remodeled Madrona home presents a modern, open floor plan, with pretty entry gardens and front porch open to the oak floors and crisp lines of the interior. Fir windows and doors, with two sets of French doors opening to a spacious deck. The kitchen has an impressive limestone island and top of the line high end appliances. The huge master bedroom suite fills the entire 2nd floor with two additional bedrooms on the lower level.
Click the link to see more pictures, details and location of this fabulous Madrona home.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 3/2.25
List Price: $1,365,000  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

King County Home Prices on the Rise

The median price of buying a home in the King County area last month was the highest we’ve seen since September. According to stats from the MLS, last month’s median sale price was $330,000, which is 7% higher than it was the previous month, (which happened to hit an all time low).
This indicates that in some areas of King County, the housing market is starting to recover. According to the Seattle Times, prices in Seattle were up 3% from this time last year and even 9% up from February. The overall optimistic outlook on the housing market is neighborhood specific of course; neighborhoods in North Seattle, and those Northeast of I-90 have seen a double digit statistic increase year after year, whereas the median price in South King County has fallen nearly 17% since last Spring. Median prices from February to March have had the tendency to increase in the past, but that isn’t always the case. While condo sales have seen an increase nationwide, short sales have decreased over 30% from this time last year. For more information about the King County housing market, visit the Seattle Times.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AOL Lusts Over Mercer Island Mansion

There is an array of wonderful things going for the Seattle area that makes folks from far and wide relocate to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We have lush greenery, beaches, city life, and quaint neighborhoods; and a ton of gorgeous homes that can be yours for the taking.
This week, AOL lusted over one particularly jaw dropping Mansion located in the Mercer Island neighborhood, that is 13,636 sf and an architect's dream come true. Beautiful Noe-Classical Italian designed columns, stone exteriors, cherrywood doors and a crystal clear view of the lovely Lake Washington. A three level home with elevator access, surround sound theater, aroma therapy hot tub, and a long list of like-minded luxury amenities, this home is at the top of the must-see list for those looking to buy this Spring. Find the detailed listing here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Home Sales Are Rising

According to the Seattle Times, in January sales of existing homes rose 4.3% and inventories went way down to the lowest point we’ve seen over the past 7 years. The National Association of Realtors said that sales have seasonally adjusted to an annual rate of 4.57 million. Sales have risen in all four major regions, including 8.8% in the Western region. December sales hit a downward slope to 4.38 Million, closing 2011 with a 0.5% decline. This however did not affect annual sales, only seasonal monthly sales. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales are still recovering, and investors account for 23% of homes purchased.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cash is King in Real Estate

Cash is king in the real estate market.  One-third of all U.S. home sales this past December were cash deals.  Clean offers - one with limited contigencies - especially those with no financing contigency are in high demand.   One would not automatically assumed this is a bad thing, but the issue is these cash deals are putting downward pressure on home values because sellers are accepting lower offers for a sure deal.  No where is this more prevelent than with homes owned by banks.  Banks are motivated to get real estate off their books and are not emotionally attached to the homes they sell so a sure deal is the deal they prefer.  But buyers who need to finance their home purchase do not need to fret.  For example, in foreclosures Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prefer first time homebuyers and people who are buying the house to live in it.  Also, not all owners are like banks who are willing to take less for a sure sell.  So while cash is king, it is not the ultimate determination in real estate transactions. 

It is an unusual real estate market, inventory is down, sales are up, but at least in part due to these cashe deals there is downward pressure on home prices.  To navigate this unusual real estate market, one should contact a local real estate agent for professional advice.