What Amazon in Bellevue Means for Our Housing Market

In case you missed it, Amazon is officially expanding to the Eastside! Back in August there were rumors that Apple and Amazon were looking to add offices across Lake Washington. A recent article from The Seattle Times confirmed Amazon will be returning to its Bellevue roots to lease a space much larger than the garage where it started 22 years ago. The online retail mogul will be the new (and only) tenants of Centre 425, a 16-story building in downtown Bellevue that is due to be completed this fall.

Amazon has already invested billions of dollars in its Seattle campus that occupies 8.5 million square feet in and around South Lake Union. This desirable location has attracted many young creatives in the area, as evidenced by the fact that the company currently employs more than 25,000 people in Seattle. The Bellevue office is expected to accommodate over 2,200 people. Considering the success of other Eastside-based companies such as Microsoft and Valve, Amazon will not have a problem recruiting that amount of local tech talent for Centre 425.

Right now it is unclear why Amazon is deviating from its original plan to develop in more urban areas like Seattle. GeekWire speculates it could be a way to cater to employees who already live on the Eastside or an attempt to lure in talent from Expedia once it relocates from Bellevue to Seattle in 2019.

What does this mean for our local housing market?

Whatever the reason for Amazon’s expansion, it will certainly make the Eastside even more attractive for tech employees and have an impact on our housing market. Although the median home price is lower in Seattle, inventory remains higher on the Eastside. Amazon’s location in Bellevue will allow prospective employees to focus their search on the Eastside and give employees currently living here an incentive to stay.

Read the full article from The Seattle Times.

Local Market Update – October 2016

At a time of year when sales traditionally slow down, September saw particularly strong sales growth. Home prices rose yet again compared to the same time last year, but they remain below the peak of several months ago. And inventory, while still low, is at its highest level in two years. The local real estate market continues to be one of the hottest in the country, but there are signs that prices may be rising more slowly than they did in the first half of the year.


Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices on the Eastside remain very strong. The September median price of $750,000 was a healthy 10 percent increase over last September. Inventory remains very low with just over a month supply of homes. Demand in this sought-after market continues to overwhelm the number of properties available for sale.

King County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices are typically lower in the fall, and that was the case in King County for September. The median price of homes sold in September was $538,000, down from the market peak earlier this summer. That number reflects a 10 percent increase over a year ago, which represents a significantly higher appreciation rate than the national average.


Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Seattle remains very tight, but is up slightly from a year ago. While multiple offers are still common – particularly for entry-priced homes — some agents are reporting fewer offers than in the past. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $630,000 in September, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices in Snohomish County climbed 11 percent in September as compared to a year ago. The median price of a home was $395,000, just below the all-time high of $405,000 set in July. The area continues to see an influx of buyers trying to find a more cost-effective option to the comparatively high housing prices in King County.

First Day of Autumn


Even though it happens year after year, the arrival of autumn is always a little surprising. Almost as if on a switch, one day late in the summer you feel it – a subtle crispness in the air. And before you know it, it’s pumpkin-spice-everything everywhere. We are suddenly swathed in sweaters, wearing boots, and bombarded by shades of orange, often even before the thermometer warrants it. After slogging through a long hot August, it can feel exciting.
Making the transition to autumn is also a great way to reorganize after a hectic summer and be better prepared going into the winter months. To make the transition a little smoother, we have created a to-do-list of ideas to help.


Start with your bedroom
Gauzy cotton feels decidedly summer, while soft cashmere has a distinctly autumnal vibe. This time of year, feel free to use both luxe textures at once, but incorporate them in colors that are appropriate for the changing seasons: cream for cashmere, gray or stone for linen.


Winterize your car
Due for an inspection? Been meaning to get those tires changed? It’s tedious, but dealing with maintenance issues now instead of three months from now (when you’re stuck in a freak snowstorm) is definitely a smart move.


Perform a pantry audit
First, remove all the cans and boxes from the shelves and vacuum any lingering dust or crumbs. Then inspect each item before putting it back in its place, tossing anything that is expired or past its prime. If you are overloaded with canned goods, make a bag for the local food bank.


Don’t neglect the Fireplace
You may not be ready to think about it yet, but on the first chilly night you’ll be glad you did. Hire a professional to inspect the fireplace and chimney to make sure it’s clear and ready for use.

Windermere Launches Ultra-Luxury Brand

Today Windermere Real Estate unveiled its ultra-luxury brand W Collection. W’ is a high-touch concierge service that not only markets luxury listings, but connects Windermere brokers and their clients to every aspect of the luxury industry.

W Collection’s goal is to develop a sophisticated brand that evokes the understated expression of wealth of the clients it represents. The new luxury division will focus on homes priced at $2.5 million and above in Seattle, and $3 million and above on the Eastside.

The market has dictated this elevated luxury tier, because the amount of homes in the $2.5 million and up range has exploded. Windermere is uniquely poised as the preeminent real estate company to cater to this clientele.

The W Collection will formally launch in late September.

W Collection will include a boutique office in Seattle where brokers can host events and connect privately with clientele.

Windermere has 7,000 agents in 300 offices in 11 states throughout the Western United States. It is the largest real estate company in the Pacific Northwest and largest regional real estate company in the Western United States.

w brand

Free Tour of Green Homes!

House in the trees

House in the trees

Record-breaking crowds are expected at the 2016 Northwest Green Home Tour on April 30 and May 1.

The free educational event, produced annually by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, showcases local, sustainable, and green new homes, remodels, and energy retrofits in the Greater Seattle area. Last year’s tour drew 3,000 visitors.

The Green Home Tour features builders, contractors, suppliers, and green homeowners and facilitates interactions between building professionals and consumers.

Greenhome Solutions, Seattle’s only locally owned green building supply retailer, is the presenting sponsor for the NW Green Home Tour. The family-owned business offers a showroom near the Ballard Bridge, an online store, and certified installers for all its products.

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a nonprofit community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest.

Trick or Treat Time!!

Believe it or not, it’s almost the end of October! Haunted houses, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and even a special harvest market from the Bellevue Farmers Market are waiting for you in the days ahead.
If you’re looking for something to do on Halloween Day, make sure you check out the Halloween Market with the Bellevue Farmers Market. They’re transforming their typical Saturday Market into something fun and full of treats. There will be pumpkin painting, face painting, live music, a family photo booth, costume contest, fresh cider, and a scavenger hunt for kids at the vendor booths.
If you still need to visit the pumpkin patch this weekend, here are a few great farms for you:
Dr. Maze’s Farm
Fall City Farms
Fox Hollow Family Farms
Remlinger Farms
Looking for something spookier than pumpkin patches and hay rides? Here are some haunted houses and events:
Spookfest Zip Tour
Nightmare at Beaver Lake
Fright Fest
Haunted Farm at Fox Hollow Family Farms

Be safe and have fun!!

Attain Housing’s Wish Upon A Star Event

We’re less than one month away from this amazing event! Seats have been filling up fast, but there’s still some available if any of you awesome people would like to come and enjoy a great evening benefiting a cause that should be near and dear to us all! We still have a couple seats left at our (Lynn and Michael’s) tables too, so at least you know you’ll be in good company. 😉  We have some great sponsors and some amazing auction items!  Contact us for more details or visit the website here.

Football is Back!

Summer is unfortunately starting to wind down, and that can only mean one thing…  Seahawks Football is back!  We fans have had to wait all off-season with that bitter taste in our mouth from last year’s crushing Super Bowl loss, and the time has finally come to create new memories in a new season!  We know we are not alone in our excitement to see our boys back out on the field.  For a link to their season schedule, which kicks off this Friday, August 14th against the Denver Broncos, click here.
Go Hawks!!

Seattle Summer Events

Picture taken by John Catalano

Events in the Seattle area are always so much fun! However, most people seem to find their favorites and forget about the rest of the amazing events that are held. We thought we would share with you a list of some great activities that you can do to enjoy the rest of your summer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

With July winding down and August upon us there are many festivals, shows and concerts still to see this summer!  Some of them include:

Seafair, hydroplane races and air show: This starts July 29th, with a Parade of ships in Elliot bay. On the 30th of July through the 2nd of August, you and your little ones, ages 8 and older wearing flat heeled shoes, can get ship tours around the Seattle waterfront for free!! With August 1st-2nd being the final days of this event, having the actual races and an air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angles and Patriots Jet Team! Music, food, and vendors are to be found around Genesee Park and Playfield, 4316 S. Genesee St., Seattle, at a cost of $10-$45.

Seattle Art Fair: This is a new event this year and is being held at Century Link Field July 30th till August 2nd, with discounted tickets for $10. With art from over 60 top galleries from around the world being showcased, this is one new event you won’t want to miss! If that isn’t enough art for you, on August 1st there is the Index Arts Festival located in Doolittle Park, 300 Fifth Ave from 10am-10pm with Music, food, vendors, and a beer garden!

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire: From August 1st through the 16th out at Kelley Farm, 20021 Sumner Buckley Highway, Bonney Lake, Pierce County, you can enjoy jousting shows, country music, dancing, games and puppet shows.  There will also be fun renaissance inspired food and vendors!

From Hiroshima to Hope: August 6th of this year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With live speakers and musical performances, followed by floating candlelit lanterns being lit over Green Lake at dusk, 6 p.m. on the northwest shore near Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle, this is an event to not forget!

Kirkland Summerfest: From August 7th-8th at the Marina Park, 25 Lake Shore Plaza, Kirkland, you can find music, art, and food vendors gracing the water’s edge at the Kirkland Summerfest.

Image found on http://www.kirklandviews.com/blog/2014/7/28/the-sounds-of-nostalgia-funk-country-and-more-will-fill-marina-park-at-kirkland-summerfest-2014-in-august

Dunnton Abbey: This Edwardian garden party is on August 8th, featuring vintage cars, lunch, croquet, and music. The event is from noon -4 p.m. at Dunn Gardens, 13533 Northshire Road N.W., Shoreline; and is $50.

Snoqualmie Railroad Days: On August 14th-16th, come celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Snoqualmie Depot with steam-train rides, pancake breakfast, and entertainment in downtown Snoqualmie from 4-9pm August 14th, 9am–9pm August 15th, and finally 9am–4pm August 16th.

All of these events are just at the beginning of August! For more events around the Sound please go to the following websites or google search “Seattle events August 2015”:



Renting VS Buying: An Update

As many of us look to the housing market, one question remains at the forefront of our thoughts. Is renting or buying now going to be cheaper in the long run? Where is the market at?

A new report from Trulia came out April 2015 telling us the well-researched and calculated answers. Overall, in the top 100 largest cities, buying is 35% cheaper than renting, where as it was 33% last year. Realizing that this includes high priced homes from Honolulu, Hawaii to lower priced homes from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you have to be asking yourself, “where does the Seattle area fit in?” According to Trulia, depending on your loan rate, tax deductions, years you plan to stay there, and your HOA fees, Seattle averages at about 21% cheaper to buy then to rent! This being said, they also say that it isn’t just the average percentage that rose over last year, but every city rose in the percentage of it being cheaper to buy than to rent. Which is definitely a positive thing to think about!

The thing that they said could be the biggest factor in which buying or renting is cheaper, is HOA fees. This just means that you need to ask questions on what the HOA covers. It may still be a cheaper option with a high HOA fee, if they cover things like water, sewer or garbage that brings down your utility bills quite a bit. This is why you just need to ask and do the math on if it is right for you. If you want a more personized percentage on how much cheaper it is for you to buy instead of rent, Trulia has a rent vs buy calculator for you to play around with! Knowledge is truly power when it comes to making big decisions!