Seattle Rents: High, But Not Highest In Washington State

It’s not a news flash that the real estate scene in Seattle has exploded in recent years. The Emerald City has gone from a town most people outside the state only associated with coffee and flannel, to the tech capital of the US (save for our friends in Silicon Valley). As home to some of the biggest tech names in the world and a booming job market to match, it’s fair to say there’s might not be enough housing to meet demand. Or, at least to meet demand AND your budget.

High rises, apartment buildings and condos are going up all over the city, and soon, our beloved skyline will be dotted with more and more buildings and towers, making the Seattle of just 10 years-ago look almost unfamiliar.

Seattle has recently made headlines as one of the most expensive places to live, get this, in the world. That’s right, recent data has placed Seattle’s rent rates at 5th highest in the nation and, supposedly 9th highest in the world! However, San Francisco and New York still dwarf us, tying for number one most expensive, world-wide.

Those of us who are Seattle Natives know that the average rental rate in Seattle has increased fairly dramatically in the last few years, but it’s interesting to note that, while Seattle’s rents have been on the rise, they don’t quite top the list of highest rents in the state.

According to recent data from Apartment List, Seattle ranks at number 5 in the state for highest rents, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,650.

Surprisingly, Mercer Island tops the list of cities in Washington for highest rents. A one-bedroom on Mercer Island goes for an average of a whopping $1,890 per month. No one said Island living was cheap, I suppose.

Filling in the gaps between number 1 and number 5 on the list are Bellevue at number 2 with an average of $1,860 per month for a one-bedroom (not a whole lot lower than their neighboring Island), Redmond at number 3 with an average of about $1,690 monthly rent for a one bedroom and Kirkland at number 4 with an average monthly rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom.

Seattle and the Eastside are not the only places in Washington with rising rent rates. Tacoma tops the list nation-wide for fastest growing rent with a year-over-year growth rate of 7.7 percent. Seattle comes close, but not close enough to that figure with year-over-year rental rate growth at 5.3 percent.

Staggering growth aside, Tacoma is still a bargain in the rental market compared to Seattle, with a one-bedroom in Tacoma going for an average of $1,000 per month. For those of you keeping score, that’s a savings of $650 compared to Seattle.

But, proving that some things really don’t change, the cheapest places to live in the Evergreen State are still East of the Cascade Mountains. You can get a one-bedroom for only $600 per month in Walla Walla and it’s not much pricier in the State’s second largest city, Spokane, at around $630 per month.

What a difference a mountain range makes…

Northwest Green Home Tour This Saturday 4/26

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Hydronic heating, solar panels, and rain catchment systems are just the tip of the sustainable iceberg for the 35 homes and 12 “sustainability stops” featured in this year’s Northwest Green Homes Tour. If you’re curious about sustainable building practices, or just want to get a close-up look at some of Seattle’s most innovative green homes, print out a site map, jump in the car (or on a bike – we are talking sustainability, after all) and spend Saturday learning from builders, suppliers and homeowners about this growing industry.

The self-guided tour is completely free to the public and includes homes and stops all over Seattle, with a few as far north as Mountlake Terrace and North Creek. A sampling of the sustainability stops includes the newly remodeled Taproot Theater in Greenwood that is targeting LEED Gold certification; and RainWise, a South Park organization that is working on green approaches to storm water control. A wristband that you’ll receive at your first stop on the tour also gets you some great perks at two more sustainability stops that will be essential on your daylong tour- a free coffee drink at Equal Exchange Espresso Bar in Ballard and discounts on food and drinks at Hale’s Ales.

The tour runs from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Feel free to start at any home or stop you’d like, or meet at Hale’s at 11:00 a.m. for a 5.1-mile walking tour around North Seattle guided by Dave Ramsay of Feet First, an organization that promotes walkable communities in Washington.This is a great chance to see some stunning green homes around the city and connect with people in the industry, including the sponsors, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild and Built Green. Visit the website for more info and a complete map of sites.

 

 

 

Live Chat Regarding Tenant Rights and Landlord Issues

chatThe Seattle Times will be holding a live chat held today at 1:00pm regarding tenant’s rights and landlord issues. Discussions will include advice on issues such as how to avoid conflict regarding housing-cost increases as well as deposit losses. Jonathan Grant, Executive Director of the Tenants Union of Washington State and the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound, Chris Benis, will be joining in on the conversation.

You can send in any questions you may have to reporter Alexa Vaughn at avaughn@seattletimes.com before the chat as well as during the chat.

August 11-17 is Westlake Park Family Fun Week

Photo courtesy of downtownseattle.com

Photo courtesy of downtownseattle.com

The second annual Westlake Family Fun Week is being produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District and Seattle Park & Recreation and is sponsored by Children’s Research Institute. Kids can enjoy activities such as face painting, bouncy house and Pacific Science Center Hands on Activities. Other fun entertainment will include Bubbleman, Bremen Green Puppet Show and music from Casper Babypants and Rolie Polie Guacamole. The event is held in Downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park August 11th – 17th from noon to 2pm. The event is free.

Enjoy a Summer Evening at Concerts At The Mural

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Together, KEXP 90.3FM and the Seattle Center are presenting Concerts at the Mural. Beginning at 5:30pm on each of the first four Fridays of August, you can enjoy the music of some of KEXP’s favorite artists such as Mudhoney and Cloud Cult at the Mural Amphitheater. The all-ages concerts are free. Seating is first come first serve so you get there early for a good seat. Enjoy a drink in the beer garden and browse sponsor booths. For more information in the event you can visit KEXP‘s website.

Scientist Spotlight at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center

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The Scientist Spotlight program is great for kids and adults interested in the many topics of science. The program features local scientists who share their work through hands on activities and conversation. You can learn about topics such as the geology of Mars, how to detect cancer-causing genes and estimating fish populations. Scientist Spotlight is offered the first Saturday of most months at the Pacific Science Center. Upcoming dates are: July 6, August 3, September 7, October 5 and December 7.

Topics such as “Where is the Polar Front?”, “What’s in a Neuron?” and “Save a Hair Cell, Save Your Hearing” are just a few of several that will be presented tomorrow, July 6th, 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Seattle Street Food Festival August 10th!

food truckThe first ever Seattle Street Food Festival will be happening on Saturday, August 10th! The festival will focus on food trucks and street vendors. It will be similar to the Mobile Food Rodeo which attracted over 30,000 people and 45 food trucks last year. It will be held in Cal Anderson Park, put on by Ryan Reiter and be sponsored by Pemco Insurance, University Audi, Naked Juice, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, The Stranger and Cal Anderson Park Alliance.

This year the festival is a one day event but will hopefully become a two day event beginning next year. Admission is free and food will be served from 5-11pm. You may purchase a priority line ticket for $35 or for $65 you can get a premiere pass which allow you to skip the lines, both available June 30th. The pop-up picnic will be from 7-10pm. Twelve chefs will each make a street food inspired dish which will then be judged. If you purchase a ticket you will be allowed in the area and sample the food prepared by the chefs as well as enjoy unlimited drinks. There will only be 250 tickets available. You can buy tickets starting June 28th for $125. The price goes up to $165 if bought after July 11th.

Ethan Stowell and Jason Franey will be hosted an industry party after the picnic until 2:00am. Since there will be limited space, the first 100 people who buy a ticket for the pop-up picnic will be invited to the party. They will be given the info regarding its whereabouts.

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.

Victims of Boston Bombing to be honored during Mother’s Day Dash

m-day dashThe Issaquah Schools Foundation had already planned on hosting a Mother’s Day Dash to benefit the foundation before the Boston bombings occurred. The foundation decided that the Mother’s Day Dash would be the perfect opportunity to raise money in honor of the victims of the Boston bombings by donating $1 for every participant that enters the race and donate it to the One Fund.

Christine Kipp of Ewing and Clark is a supporter of the foundation and was so impressed by what they are doing that she decided to match each donation dollar for dollar. She will donate $1 for every runner and walker that participates to the One Fund and foundation.

They are expecting there to be between 1,000 and 1,500 participants. The run starts at 9:00am on Saturday, May 11th on 12th Ave by the Issaquah Sports Authority. Entry fee is $25 for adults and children over 11 years old and $8 for children 10 years old and younger. For more information on the event please visit http://issaquahmothersdaydash.eventbrite.com/#.

Bullitt Center Opens Today!

The much anticipated uber-green Bullitt Center Building will open today at 11am with a ceremony; how very green of them to coordinate the opening to happen on Earth Day! There will be guided tours happening this afternoon from noon-5pm, where the public is welcome to come check out the six story 50,000 sf space, which is designed to be one of the world’s greenest commercial buildings. Bullet Centter Exterior1

Governor Jay Inslee, and Mayor Mike McGinn will speak at the ceremony today.  According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, Dennis Hayes, president and CEO of the Bullit Center Foundation, was the coordinator of Seattle’s first Earth Day in 1970. What a wonderful day for Hayes and his colleagues to celebrate!