House Hunting Horror Stories Volume 1

Taking out buyers to look at houses is one of my favorite parts of my job.  Today I was out with Alexa and Maggie looking at townhouses and single family homes in Columbia City.  We had finished looking at a lovely townhouse and were headed into a 1902 single family home right down the street.  As we approached the house, it was obvious that the home needed a lot of TLC.  One of the ladies noticed that a hive of bees had made themselves at home in the rafters on the front porch.  We had a brief debate and going in, and decided that we wanted to see the home even though we had to brave the swarm of bees to get in.

As we entered the home, we were immediately put off by the smell of stale cigarettes.  In under one minute, the ladies decided this was not the home for them.  The home had an odd layout, the kitchen and bathroom were in desperate need of major repairs, and even to the naked eye it was obvious that the home had foundation issues.  We were so unnerved by the home that we decided not to even look at the basement.  It seemed that we couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  On our way out the front door, none of us were thinking about the beehive we saw as we entered.  And then the bees attacked.  Maggie was the first one out the door and fell victim to a bee sting right on the forehead.  I was so impressed with how well she handled the situation.  She was able to shake it all off in just a few minutes and by the time we got to the next home it was as if the bee attack never happen.  But I can almost guarantee that both of these clients won’t soon forget the adventure we had today.

Kerry Park – The Best View in Seattle

I had the pleasure of attending a wedding ceremony at Kerry Park today.  (Side note- Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Kirby!).  I had heard people talk of the amazing view of the Seattle skyline from this park tucked away on Queen Anne hill, and the views turned out to be as amazing as others had described it.  The park is located at 211 West Highland Drive and is a quick 5 minute drive from my usual stomping grounds of Downtown.  The small park has been seen in the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You” and was also featured in the reality show The Amazing Race.  What I loved most about the park was that the park itself was clean and modest, leaving all of the focus and glory to the sweeping views of Seattle.  Just as the parks namesake, Mr and Mrs. Sperry Kerry wanted it.


Ballard Seafood Fest

The Ballard Seafood Fest is one of my favorite festivals of the year.  The heart of Ballard (Market Street) is closed to car traffic and the streets explode with food, culture, and hand crafted goods.  One can wander for hours, soaking up all the sights and smells that the festival has to offer.  We started our journey with a fresh ear of corn on the cob and a tugboat (a delicious sandwich topped with Dungeness crab and melted cheese on a toasted piece of french bread).  After that we moved on to explore the variety of art, clothing, jewelry and clothing that all the booths had to offer.  We ended up coming home with two RAD Ballard t-shirts, a beautiful tile necklace and two tickets to the Heritage Nordic Museum.  We also got to get into one of Metros Rapid Bus and explore the innards of a giant fiberglass fish.  We ended our afternoon by wandering the farmers market, grabbing some delicious goodies for Sunday Dinner and enjoying a walk home in the crisp Seattle summer weather.


Ballard Left with Little Room for First-Time Buyers

According to several of the first time home buyers I am working with, Ballard is their top choice of neighborhoods to buy in.  Most of my clients, when buying their first house, are looking to spend under $400,000 (and often much, much less than that).  The sad reality is that very few houses are currently for sale in that price range in Ballard.  And when homes come in the market in the highly coveted 98107 zip code, they are just as quickly sold as they are listed.  I have a certain client, who will remain unnamed, that loves good old fashioned charts and graphs.  To help him understand what was happening in Ballard and why we were having such a challenging time finding him a home, I came up with a few handy charts

A bit more real estate information for you.  A healthy market, in which it isn’t a “buyers market” or a “sellers market”, we have an average of 6 months of inventory.  In King County, inventory is at a low of 2.6 months, a number that hasn’t been seen since February 2006.  In contrast, Ballard is seeing inventory levels of:

Ballard Inventory

This record low inventory is causing multiple offer situations.  When my buyers are up against 4 or 5 other offers, some of those other offers paying in cash and waiving inspection contingencies, it can be even more challenging to “win” the house.

The graph below helps grasp how quickly homes sell (CDOM, Cumulative Days on Market), and how they are selling for almost full list price (Sales Price versus List Price).

Ballard Days on Market

Long story short, it’s a competitive market out there.  Buyers, get pre-qualified and be ready to see the home as soon as we let you know it has come on the market.  Sellers, if you are ready to move on, up, or out I beg you to sell your house.  I very well know someone that wants to buy it :).

Front Row Seats for the Fourth of July on Lake Union

One of the main perks of living on a boat on Lake Union is front row seating for the only remaining fireworks show in Seattle.  Each year I fill my houseboat with my favorite people, fire up the BBQ, and sit back and enjoy the pretty lights and loud noises.   The highlight of the event (outside of the smiley face shaped fireworks) was the awesome soundtrack that played during the display.  I just have three words for you.  Everybody LOVES Journey.