Seattle Ferris Wheel Opens Tomorrow!

The Seattle Ferris Wheel on Pier 57 on the waterfront will be officially open for business tomorrow afternoon! The wheel was built in less than one year and idealist, long time restauranteur Hal Griffith could not be happier his dream has finally become a reality. The wheel takes 6-8 passengers per gondola up 175 feet with views stretching across the city, (around 336 passengers can go up at a time!).

With construction of the viaduct putting obvious barriers for businesses down on the waterfront, the Great Wheel hopes to lure patrons as a big waterfront attraction. Griffith has been dreaming of this for nearly 30 years, and Seattleites can hop on board tomorrow, ride tickets are on sale $13 for adults and $8.50 per child.

Council Members Vote Against Arena On Public Ballot

They had a rally for the Sonics last week, and this week Chris Hansen is on the grind making moves for that arena! On Wednesday City Council members put Chris Hansen on the chopping block in a two hour questions and answer discussion regarding the $490 arena proposal, just a day after he did the same for the Metropolitan King County Council.

Hansen is seeking $200 million in public funding for the arena, to bring back an NBA team and entice a professional hockey team to the city.  According to the Seattle Times, when asked if sending the proposal to build an arena to a  public vote, a majority of the City Council members voted against it; making the claim that the decision was rightly theirs to make. When asked the same question Hansen made the argument that Seattle has already voted on initiative I-91, (requiring the city to see a return on any sports facility investments) and that “if every question before lawmakers was put to a vote, nothing would get done.” Fair enough. The majority of the council members later said that rather than taking to a public vote, they would continue to analyze Hansen’s proposal in house. If taxpayers voted in 2006 that they wanted to see a return on investments, they probably want it now too. Stay tuned for more arena updates!

Floating Homes: Life On the Waterfront

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.


Microsoft and Nordstrom Top Dogs Back Arena Deal

This morning in a letter addressed to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Exec Dow Constantine, Chris Hansen announced a few of the top investors in his Seattle arena investment group; including Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer and Erik and Peter Nordstrom.

According to the Seattle Times, Hansen said “These three gentlemen, like me, are committed to operating the arena and the NBA franchise in a way that represents and upholds the values of our community.” Hansen had been getting an earful from the community for not divulging any of his local partners, and has since mentioned that the investment group still has plenty of room to grow, but these three investors have agreed to come forward at this time. For more information on the arena deal, check out the Rally to Bring Back the Sonics tomorrow afternoon.

Need A Green Thumb? Tips on Landscaping Savings

If you don’t think you have what it takes to build the perfect yard, read on for some great tips for new homeowners to spruce their front yard! If you know the basics, and can handle a shovel and hose you can save yourself a bundle. A high end landscaping contractor may

Photo Courtesy of

charge at least $5,000 to remodel a typical suburban front yard; but if you’re willing to sweat a little, and tackle replacing overgrowth and old greenery with new plants, you can boost your property value. CNN Money has a list of 7 things you can do to improve your landscaping that you can probably do without the help of a landscaper.

Tips For a Smooth Buy on Your New Home

Are you opting to buy a new home as opposed to one someone has already lived in? There are several things buyers need to consider when looking into buying a home, especially those buying brand new vs. pre-owned.  The Seattle Times has compiled a good checklist for buyers to go over when buying in today’s real estate market. If there are a few things that you don’t like about the home, say wallpaper in the bathroom, or carpet in the living room, you might be able to work something out with the building before you move in.

If you’re moving into a new unfinished neighborhood, these sorts of things can sometimes be negotiated, whereas if you;’re moving into an existing home, changes are usually discussed with the seller, which can be a stressful situation. Buying a new home can also save you money in power bills, with new appliances and systems. For the full checklist, take a moment to visit the Seattle Times.

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% felt a rent increase. The housing recovery appears to be headed in the right direction overall, even though a weighted number of Americans still have homes with mortgages that are underwater, or risk foreclosure.

Real Estate Development in Madrona

There has been signs of a stronger real estate market for months and the numbers have proven that Seattle’s real estate market is improving.  In addition to the strong sales numbers, I have noticed that construction has picked up in Madrona.  Everyone in Madrona is aware of the Pike Station project on the corner of 34th and Pike, but that is not the only Madrona real estate project.  For example, there are two new homes being built on separate lots on one square block in Madrona in between 30th and 31st Avenue and East Olive and East Howell Street.

Madrona Real Estate

Madrona Real Estate

On the corner of 30th and Olive an old blue home was torn down and a new larger single family home is being built while in the middle of the block on 31st a new modern home is being built in what once was the backyard of another Madrona home.

Madrona Real EstateIn another part of the Madrona neighborhood on 35th Avenue between Union and Spring, another old home was torn down and it will be replaced with two new view homes.  One house will be 1120 35th Avenue and the other will be 1124 35th Avenue.

Madrona Real Estate

The Madrona real estate market is strong, if you want more information feel free to contact me with any of your real estate questions.

CORRECTION:  Two Madrona view homes are being built on 35th rather than just one as previously reported.