#CoffeeWithChristy – La Marzocco on Lower Queen Anne

Episode #5 – La Mazocco Cafe at 482 1st Ave N.

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What makes this coffee shop so special?

Just about everything.  It is located in the lobby of the new KEXP station right across from the Key Arena.  It has limited coffee and snack options, but the atmosphere, location, and overall vibe make it my new favorite coffee shop in Seattle.  And they serve Stumptown Coffee, for now.  You can never go wrong with Stumptown.  According to the website, they rotate different coffee brands monthly, so each visit can be a new adventure.

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Atmosphere:

Well, this place is about as cool as it gets!  Not only is it located AT the KEXP studios, they have a massive space with a really cool design.   The space has tall ceilings, seating for at least 50 people with a variety of tables and chairs and couches and arm chairs.  They even have roll-up garage doors that open up to a lovely courtyard.  They broadcast live KEXP at a good volume all throughout the space, really driving home the cool factor.

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Why I will go back:

The coffee, although strong, was delicious, the staff was friendly and the free wifi was fast and didn’t need a password.  This is a also a great place to people watch, and see and be seen.  On top of that, the restrooms are clean and gorgeous and the live KEXP stream that fills the space make this a one-of-a-kind coffee house.

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Who I was with:

I had the pleasure to meeting Jess, a long time friend and graphic designer.  Jess is one of the creators of the interactive art project #lovethehill. We talked about music (of course), the presidential campaign (don’t get me started!) and how cute little kids are, especially when they do goofy stuff like fall or walk around in shoes that are too big.  Jess is a lot cooler than I am, and she gave me a quick update on new music and upcoming music festivals.  Without friends like her, I would forever be listening to Motown and obscure 90’s rap.  Thanks Jess for keeping me relevant!

About the neighborhood:

Lower Queen Anne is a great mix of renters (63%) and homeowners.  Most of the housing in Lower Queen Anne is condos, with a few luxury single family homes mixed in.  One of the great things about the LQA neighborhood, is the large number of 100+ year old condo buildings.  The neighborhood is also one of the most walkable in the city and has endless dining, nightlife and coffee options.

  • Average sold price of a condo in the last 12 months: $388,669
  • Current average list price for a condo: $1,098,048 (yes, over a million dollars!)
  • Number of condos currently for sale: 23
  • Average resident income: $64,000 annually
  • Average resident age: 34 years old
  • Average household size of 1.7 people
The Face of Lower Queen Anne:

lqa soldThis 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo sold on 12/15/2015 for $390,000.  It is located right by Kinnear Park, boasts 1,075 square feet of living spaces and private patio.  All the photos and details here.

 

#CoffeeWithChristy – Starbucks in Belltown

Episode #3 – Starbucks at 2326 1st Ave in Belltown

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What makes this Starbucks so special?

Atmosphere:  It has to be the great people that work there.  Every single time they are funny, nice and make drinks to perfection.  The lobby also has great indoor and outdoor seating, making it a great place to escape the bustle of Belltown and chat with a friend.  The location also makes it prime for people watching.  Everyone from business men in suits, women in yoga pants toting small dogs, tourists lugging around suitcases, and Belltowns famed homeless all seem to gather in this one little Starbucks and coexist peacefully.

Why I will go back:  I have been frequenting this Starbucks for almost 10 years.  I love the central location, the FANTASTIC staff, and the variety of seating options.  This particular Starbucks has a really comfortable, friendly and urban vibe that keeps me coming back for more.

Who I was with: I had the pleasure of meeting with Jeff DuPont, the owner of my favorite painting team, Sound Painting Solutions.  We talked about real estate investing, the state of the Seattle real estate market, and the challenges of finding great contractors and repair people.  Jeff is also a real estate investor, and we are always discussing creative ways to find real estate deals, no matter what the market may be doing.

About the neighborhood: Belltown is the ONLY neighborhood in Seattle that is 99% condos (Belltown has a few single family cottages in the Belltown P-Patch, but they are City owned and will likely never hit the open market).  Belltown also boasts the highest residential density of all the Seattle neighborhoods.

  • Average sold price of a condo in 2015: $641,919
  • Current average list price for a 1 bedroom condo: $742,988
  • Number of condos currently for sale: 35
  • Average resident income: $79,889 annually
  • Average resident age: 38 years old
  • With an average household size of 1.38 people per household, this is the most childless neighborhood in all of Seattle

The Face of Belltown:

mosler lofts

This one bedroom, 1.75 bathroom condo at Mosler Lofts sold for $630,000 on 4/13/2015.  It has 1,142 square feet of living space and great views of downtown. For now.  As we well know, the Seattle skyline is rapidly changing.

#CoffeeWithChristy – Green Bean Coffee House in Greenwood

Episode #2 – Green Bean Coffee House in Greenwood

It was a sunny and beautiful Sunday afternoon.  The coffee shop had tons of sunshine beaming in through the ample windows, and the people inside ranged from a pair of moms with small kids, to a group of gentlemen reading newspapers, to a few 20-somethings working on laptops.

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About Green Bean Coffee House:

Located at 8525 Greenwood Ave N, this is more than just a coffee house.  It is a non-profit that “enriches lives through community development by practicing hospitality, creativity and service”.  They strive to be a space where all are welcome, regardless of faith or socioeconomic status, and be a center for community building and activity.

Cost for a 16 ounce Americano = $3.00

Atmosphere: The Green Bean Coffee House has done a great job creating a space that is welcoming and feels like the neighborhood.  They have lots of tables and chairs, a great area for kids with toys and low seating, and even a piano that is open for anyone to play.  The colors are vibrant and playful, and the space has great natural light and a variety of seating.

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Why I will go back: I actually don’t know if I will go back.  From the time I ordered my bagel and coffee until the time I GOT my bagel and coffee was 14 minutes.  And there were only three people TOTAL after me that ordered.  The coffee tasted good, and the bagel was your average Seattle bagel (don’t get me started about how East Coast bagels are far superior), but I just get a little bent out of shape when things take a lot longer than they should.

Who I was with: I was with my dear friend Meka.  She is an accountant and a money coach, and the founder of my FAVORITE money coaching business, Penny Smart Girl.  Meka also works with people that are about to start the process of buying their first home, so we always end up talking shop.  We discussed the best things to do when you are 2 years out, 1 year out, and 6 months out from buying your first place.  We also talked about music (we have a shared passion for the same type of music), and about how the recent density surge (specifically townhouses), impacted the character of certain neighborhoods.  Meka and I could talk all day….

About the neighborhood: Greenwood is the new Ballard, like tea is the new coffee.  Greenwood still has lots of single family homes, great transit options to downtown and beyond, and although it lacks sidewalks, it still has a good walkability to the neighborhood.

  • Average sold price of a home in 2015: $485,499
  • Average sold price of a condo in 2015: $236,741
  • Average resident income: $47,399 annually
  • Average resident age: 36 year old

The Face of the Neighborhood:

greenwood sold

This Greenwood Craftsman sold for $483,500 (121% of the list price!) on December 1st, 2015.   It has 3 bedrooms, one bathroom and 1,160 square feet of living space. The house was nicely maintained, with a very usable kitchen and a larger than normal lot size.

Well friends, that’s a wrap for this month.  Who wants to join me next month?

#CoffeeWithChristy – Fix Coffeehouse in Greenlake

Anyone else find my monthly series of “Neighborhood Spotlight” blogs to be a bit…. boring????  Well, I did so they are officially being replaced with a new monthly series called “Coffee with Christy” .

Episode #1 – Fix Coffee at Greenlake

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I first visited Fix on Sunday afternoon during the NFC championship game.  This coffee shop serves beer and wine, and also features several large screen TV’s.  The place was PACKED with a combo of your usual football fans, a handful of people working on laptops, and a few stragglers like myself and Brian that were just looking for a cup of coffee before walking around Greenlake.  I visited Fix again the next day (Monday) and it was a totally different experience.  The coffee shop was still packed, but it was full of moms and groups of girlfriends, old guys reading books, and hipsters engrossed in their laptops or cell phones.   I was still able to score a place to sit and enjoy my hot apple cider.  Motown tunes filled the cafe, and a steady stream of customers filtered through the coffee shop.

About Fix:

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Located at 6900 E. Greenlake Way N., this coffee shop is more than just lattes and muffins.  Fix serves Stumptown coffee, beer and wine, and lots of pastries and sandwiches from local companies like Macrina bakery and Flying Apron.

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Cost for a 16oz Americano = $2.50

Atmosphere:  full, but you can always find a seat or two.  Larger parties may have trouble getting seats together.  It is a little loud, but in a festive and social way, not an obnoxious-bad-music way.

Why I will go back: They offer mimosas.  Although I didn’t have one the first two times I visited, I see one in my near future.   The coffee was also quite delicious and the staff was fairly friendly.  They are also a dog-friendly establishment, so my senior dog Bunny and I will go back to visit.

Who I was with:  My visit was with Brian, a water filter engineer and Greenlake resident.  We talked about football (and our deep despair over the Seahawks loss), how one takes their coffee as an indicator of overall personality type, and rules of etiquette when walking around Greenlake.  We also discussed how the great parks in Seattle (like Greenlake) really add to the livability of the city.  We also then discussed the rapidly increasing  housing pricing and possibility of another real estate bubble.

About the neighborhood: Greenlake is a highly desirable and central Seattle neighborhood.

  • Average sold price of a home in 2015: $658,571
  • Average sold price of a condo in 2015: $327,749
  • Average resident income: $91,638 annually
  • Average rent: $1,300 per month
  • Average resident age: 36 year old

So, who’s having coffee with me next month and where are we meeting?  My treat! 🙂

 

Neighborhood Spotlight: Hillman City

 Geography:

Hillman City is tucked away in the Rainer Valley with Seward Park on the east side and Beacon Hill on the west side.  It is a mostly residential area, with the hub of the business, both small and large, centered around Rainer Ave. S.

 

Demographics:
  • Median Age: 36
  • Population: 3,365
  • Median Income : $46,377
  • Average price of sold home in 2015: $371,875
Recently Sold:

fixerThis 3 bedroom, 1 bath house sold for $255,000 on 10/1/2015.  Marketed as an “extreme fixer”, this home needed a lot of TLC.  It sold in 13 days for 96% of the list price.  Click here for more photos and all the details.

 

 

brick houseWho doesn’t love a brick house?!?  This 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom Tudor sold for $501,000 in just 3 short days on the market.  It closed on 10/14/2015 for 105% of the list price.  Check out the huge yard and sweet hardwood floors here.

The Inside Scoop:

Hillman City is a neighborhood that has seen boom and bust.  It is considered to be Seattles new up-and-coming neighborhood, with real estate investors taking a special interest in it.  When I am visiting the neighborhood, you can find me sipping coffee at Tin Umbrella Coffee or shopping for vintage furniture at Jacob Willow Home.