New Bike Trails in North Seattle

bikeA cycle track was built on the Burke Gillman Trail this last spring. A cycle track is a bike trail with cement barriers that separate bicyclists from motor vehicles. It cost a hefty $260,000 for a quarter mile stretch but bicyclists say it’s worth it and that it makes them feel much safer.

The city will spend nearly $4 million this year planning, designing and installing new and safer bike paths. A new cycle track will open next month in North Seattle connecting the Interurban Trail in Bitter Lake on Linden and 130th. There is a path being planned for the Maple Leaf neighborhood which will run along Roosevelt Way NE from NE 75th to NE 85th.

Seattle Housing Prices Reach Biggest Year Over Year Gain Since 2000!

Seattle housing prices continue to rise, and have jumped another 12.1 percent in April from a year ago, according to the Case Shiller price index, released today. Our housing market posted a slight gain of 2.7% from March, the biggest month over month increase we’ve seen since 2000! All other cities in the 20 city index also posted gains except for Detroit.  Mt Baker

There were 12 cities overall that posted double digit year over year gains including Seattle, while cities like Las Vegas, San Francisco, phoenix, and Atlanta posted gains of over 20%. In general, the housing recovery is getting stronger, and more sustainable, and ready to ease home buyers and sellers back to the marketplace. If you’re looking to buy or sell your home int he Seattle area, contact your local Real Estate agent today.

SAM to Change Hours of Operation Beginning July 1

SAM

In order to save on operating costs and align with visitor patterns SAM will be cutting back its hours beginning Monday, July 1. The new hours will be 10:00am – 5:00pm Wednesday – Sunday with extended hours 9:00pm on Thursdays. The museum will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays which has been done in the past. There will not be any cuts in staffing or programming. There have not been enough visitors during Friday evenings to keep the museum open later but they will continue to offer Remix at SAM three times a year on Friday nights.

Proposed Pike Place Market Waterfront Park Plan Released

planPlans for the proposed waterfront park connecting Pike Place Market to the waterfront have been released. The plans were designed by market officials and a team from Miller Hull and consists of 30,000 square feet of public terraces with views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, commercial space available for local produce vendors, restaurants with outdoor seating as well as Pike Place Market vendors and a pedestrian walkway which will connect to the Seattle Aquarium and allow access to the waterfront. The new building and terrace will be built of timber and glass canopies.

Some vendors are excited about the plans but are a little skeptical regarding the look of the proposed project. They are concerned that the timber and glass will not flow with the rest of the Pike Place Market image and character. The market was developed and built over time which added to its character with a variety of styles and colors. Those concerned about the look hope that the new plan will also add some variety.

The proposed plan is estimated to cost $60 million to $68 million and will also include a new 300 stall parking garage and a 40 unit low-income housing complex for seniors. It is possible construction could start next year.

Seattle Pi Features Blue Ridge Homes For Sale

blue ridgeHarvey Losh bought this Blue Ridge home back in 1949 when it wasn’t even considered to be in the Seattle city limits. Once considered the mayor of Blue Ridge due to his many terms as the local community club president, now the late Losh’s home is for sale in the neighborhood, and you can own a slice of the neighborhood, listed by Ewing & Clark for $749,000! Check out this and other Seattle homes today featured on the Seattle Pi.

Seattle Homeowners Buy Air Rights

The newest trend in the Seattle Real Estate Market isn’t adding another story, or buying a summer home on the Eastside; its all up in the air. According to King 5, The growing hype over “air rights” has homeowners in neighborhoods like Magnolia, Blue Ridge and Somerset in Bellevue scrambling to own the air above their homes. It is becoming more popular as our population density increases, and homeowners can’t spread out and extend their homes, so as the population increases, we build up. To prevent a neighbor from building upwards and blocking the view, many homeowners are will to pay a hefty price to protect their views. seattle sunset

According to King 5, two homeowners in Magnolia purchased the home next to theirs for $600,000 because they were worried about the damage a new neighbor could do to their waterfront view. They rented out the home for 9 years, and then finally sold it, but still retain the air rights above the property. They ended up asking for $100,000 less than the average asking price, and as a result the new homeowners aren’t legally allowed to build up or add a second story to the home. Generally these are rights can be anywhere between $50,000 to $250,000, but every home is different. Bill Gate’s air rights are in the upward millions. But homeowners that do own their air rights agree it’s money well spent to protect their views.

Luxury Condos at Bellevue Towers Finally Almost Sold Out

towers

Almost all the condos in Bellevue Towers have been sold. A sign posted in the lobby announced that 95 percent of the 539 condos had been sold. In reality, less than 19 are left available. By now, it’s most likely that there are even fewer available. There are several orders pending. 16 condos sold in May and 21 closed in April.

The towers were completed and ready for occupants in 2009. 230 future owners had put down a deposit but soon after the stock market lost half its value, only 35 units closed. In January of 2011 prices were lowered by around 30 percent and units began to slowly sell. Units have been selling quickly the past 3 months. Why? With home prices on the rise, a decision was made not to raise unit prices to meet the rest of the housing market.

It is expected that the Bellevue Towers will completely sell out within the next month or two. A few larger units with at least 1,900 sf remain and range in price from $895,000 to $6.5 million. The towers offer more than a few amenities such as a 24/7 concierge, entertaining/board room, half acre garden, work out rooms, spa areas and a theater room with big cushy chairs to relax in.

Things to do around the city with Dad on Father’s Day

fathers dayFather’s Day is Sunday, June 16th and there are many things that kids of all ages can do with Dad on Father’s Day around the Seattle area. Spend the day at the Children’s Museum located at the Seattle Center. Dad’s and father figures are admitted free when accompanied by a child 10 years old or younger with a paid full price admission. Adults and children are $8.25 each while grandparents are $7.25 each.

If your dad loves cars he might enjoy attending one of a few car shows taking place on Father’s Day. Father’s Day Car Show in downtown Burien is from 10:00am to 4:00pm and will feature over 200 cars. Fenders on Front Street will be happening from 7:00am to 3:30pm in Issaquah.

KEXP is hosting a Father’s Day Kids Dance Party at EMP from 11:00am to 2:00pm. There will be plenty of family and kid friendly activities to enjoy. Tickets are $8.

The Museum of Flight is a great idea for the whole family to enjoy Father’s Day with dad. It is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm and offers fun and activities for all ages to enjoy. Kids can enjoy an Interactive Play Zone and in the afternoon Dad can meet famous NASA astronaut, Michael Foreman, and get his autograph.

The Washington Brewer’s Festival is Father’s Day weekend (June 14-16) at Marymoore Park in Redmond and the perfect place to take the dad who loves beer! It is open to all ages accept Friday night which is a 21+ event. Go online to purchase the best ticket prices. A three day pass costs $40 which gets you admission for all three days, a tasting cup and beer sampling tokens.  

There are many things to do with Dad on Father’s Day……..Visit one of the many Seattle parks and recreational areas such as Discovery Park, take Dad to brunch at one of the many neighborhood restaurants, or a stroll downtown and a ride on the Great Wheel are great ideas as well.

May Stats Regarding Increasing Inventory and Sales

housing statsBased on King and Snohomish County public records, foreclosures are   slowly decreasing to normal levels while inventory rose for the second month in a row. Measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County, sales rose 15% from March to April and were up 28% year-over-year. In Snohomish County, sales rose 8% month-over-month and 26% from May of last year.

Foreclosures in King County fell again but were just above last year’s level. Although Snohomish County increased in foreclosures, they are still at their second-lowest level in the last 11 months.

Buyers will be happy to hear that inventory in King County rose 15.6% this year compared to 2.3% between April and May of last year. Listing fell 3.1% last year in Snohomish County. This year they were up 6.0%.

DEA Issues Warning Letters Regarding Marijuana

dispenseryThe DEA has issued a series of letters to shop owners in Washington state warning them to stop any activity involving marijuana or risk forfeiting their property and being prosecuted for illegal distribution and drug trafficking. Any one involved, business owner, property owner, property management, who is aware of activities related to distribution of an illegal substance risks being prosecuted. As of last August, 41 storefronts in the Seattle area have received letters notifying them of violations. Recreational use of marijuana is legal in Washington state as well as medicinal use but is still illegal according to federal law.

Many being affected by the letters are frustrated because the DEA can use pretty much any excuse or no excuse at all besides the fact that it is illegal to shut down a business such as being too close to a school or park. If a shop is within the allowed 1,000 feet of protected areas and if a park, school or building providing subsidized housing is built too close to a shop with marijuana, the shop is then in violation and would have to shut down. It doesn’t seem fair at all for storefront owners who, by state law, are there and operating legally but there isn’t much one can do to fight the feds and not end up in jail.

The issue will be handled on a case by case basis. It is believed that the DEA will go after larger groups trying to capitalize on the marijuana industry or people such as Jamen Shively, CEO of Diego Pellicer, Inc., who intends to become a major seller of marijuana. Marijuana is a schedule 1, illegal drug. If charged, a person will not have much of a defense and will likely go to prison.