Seabrook, WA – Buy or Not To Buy?

(Marian is a friend of mine who has been following the Seabrook development on the coast of Washington. Based on many interesting conversations that we’ve had about this development, I thought it would be fun let him write updates about the process of buying into this development. -Dustin)

Buy or Not To Buy?

That’s a question to all of you Seattle beachcombers who like ocean sunsets, salty air, sand dollars and beach fires. If you’ve been taking your family down to Newport, Cannon Beach or Seaside in Oregon, now you have a comparably beautiful alternative on Central Washington coast. We are not talking Long Beach or Ocean Shores. We are talking about Seabrook.

I fell in love with this part of the Washington coast several years ago, before anyone announced plans to develop properties in this area, when our family visited the Griffiths-Priday state park. It reminded us of Oregon Coast with its sand cliffs, dunes and beaches. Seabrook is being built just north of the park, on adjacent 88 acres of land on a bluff overlooking the beach and the ocean.

seabrook layout

I have to give kudos to Casey Roloff and his team at the Seabrook Land Company for making their vision of building a town on the undeveloped part Washington coast a reality. Using the New Urbanism approach and building a dense, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with the public amenities of a small resort and the atmosphere of a beach town, they hit a jackpot. Seabrook is a runaway hit! Just 15 months ago, new 3 bedroom/2 bath “cottages

64 thoughts on “Seabrook, WA – Buy or Not To Buy?

  1. 575,000 for 1500 square feet by the Ocean…Not…on the ocean. Nah. Id by another vacation home in Ocean Shores and ride my bike through this town.

  2. It could definitely be considered spam, but I’m not going to delete a comment from a housewife doing the Lord’s work. (especially since I don’t own any statues of St. Joseph) 🙂

  3. The town of SEABROOK is a unique coastal land development dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural environment and the history attached to it. The common goal is to merge a beach village seamlessly into the natural environment by providing a continuous system of preserved greenways, parks, natural areas, and pathways for its residents, visitors, and neighbors to enjoy. By creating a denser street network, a pedestrian friendly village is allowed to emerge. In turn, a greater percentage of natural areas are able to be held as preserve. In addition, the ability to walk or bike is increased tenfold. One nearby coastal town requires visitors and residents to drive to each destination creating a organized chaos and an uncomfortable way of enjoying a coastal beach town (at least from a pedestirans’ or bicyclists’ perspective). Suburban sprawl is not a responsible way of developing land. New urbanism based projects offer a responsible alternative. Please check out: The Congress for New Urbanism ( Sprawl based projects consume much more land and require additional unnecessary energy use (by promoting the automobile as the primary system of transport). New urbanism-based town concepts allow pedestrians and bicyclists to find safety on and near the streets. One can actually make their way thru town quicker by being on bike or on foot. In addition, the variety built into these types of towns provides interest for a pedestrian that makes one want to walk just to take in the scenery (which includes beautifully designed streets and parks, NOT just a one-liner of an ocean view). By doing so, one is offered the ability to interact in a postive way with their friends and neighbors, instead of having angry exchanges in a car over traffic signal obeyances. Also, Seabrook’s architectural style & building form is based upon regional precedent & local history (unlike some nearby communities) , and ability to weather this region’s harsh coastal climate in elegant, creative, and functional way. The emerging town allows for a multitude of housing types, memorable civic spaces & civic buildings (unlike some nearby communities), and already has begun to host regional events that begin to make a place timeless. These town amenities serve to provide a platform for meaningful interaction & discussion amongst a wide array of individuals, all done in an effort to reinstate the most essential things in all of our lives, which is time, family, and friends. When you buy at Seabrook, you are not only buying the ability to enjoy a view of the ocean, you are buying into the idea of a town.

  4. Stephen,

    Thanks for stopping by… I’ve definitely enjoy watching your progress and wish you the best.

    The biggest concern I’ve heard about Seabrook is just how fast the cost of purchasing a home has risen. I don’t have any numbers in front of me, but my memory says that original condos that were going for $250K are now over $500K… Obviously, this is a credit to the incredible job you’ve done building up the community, but it makes me wonder how committed you are to the economic diversity elements that are important in New Urbanism.

    It also seems slightly misplaced to be applying new urbanism label to exclusive homes on the beach since vacation homes (by design) don’t have to deal with the major issue of commuting. With all that said, I definitely applaud your progress and think you are building the best-of-breed out on the Washington coast!

  5. In answer to your comments regarding price increases in Seabrook….the market has really dictated the size of homes we are building. We offer a number of smaller homes at lower prices with each release of homes along with homes up to $1,000,000. The most expensive sell first and the smaller homes are sometimes replaced by a bigger home. We are currently offering wonderful small cottages fully appointed for as low as $399,000. We are building single family homes now and have not designed or sold any condominiums. We are planning for a variety of home types in the next few years.

  6. With all the approved undeveloped lots along the Washington coast already, it seems senseless to create this Exclusive upscale Development. Why not develop the existing lots before foisting yupyville on all of us?? The prices increases since the first homes were built is outrageous! Just a thought.

  7. Devon, we invite you to please come see what we are building before you judge the appropriateness of pricing. Once seen, I think you’ll better understand the level of quality and design that has gone into a place like this. The last time places like Seabrook were built were at the turn of the century where value was placed on the town as community, not a single house created with an “I got mine, now leave me alone attitude”. This type of attitude is what does not create good community and is dangerous for coastal development. We are not a gated community and never want to be. Our oceanfront will remain open to the public, something I can’t say about other previously developed WA coast developments. Our prices are more than justified because when you buy here, you are not only buying a house and a lot, you are buying a town that has a town center, various housing types, street trees, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, civic buildings, trails, and much more. Other coastal developments do not even come close to providing these things. These amenties cost money to build and they are built into a home’s price. Our buildings and public spaces are timeless and they will continue to hold value many years after we are all gone.

  8. Marian, Jim, Lorie, Dustin, and Devon,
    As the Town Planner of Seabrook, I appreciate your critique of Seabrook, especially based on the New Urbanism principles that it’s designed around. Frankly the rise in prices for homes at Seabrook have been surprising, and challenging to the principle of making a community with a diverse range of citizens of many incomes, ages, and backgrounds.

    However, the ‘market’ is at play here as everywhere along our coasts. Devon asks why not first wait for the numerous vacant lots along the coast to be sold, such as in Ocean Shore, before building a new town.

    People need better choices on the coast compared to what’s currently available. If the current suburban choices are not attractive to people looking for a place near the coast, then they will start looking for another option. We encourage the redevelopment of other small villages and towns up and down the coast. Many of those towns are places we took allot of inspiration from when designing Seabrook. In fact we provided allot of assistance in the recent downtown redevelopment plan of Pacific Beach.

    Seabrook merely fulfills a desire for folks who want a different kind of place near the beach. Maybe those other available lots on the coast don’t offer the qualities of a close knit town with carefully designed buildings, parks, civic squares, lanes, sidewalks and trails that Seabrook offers. Seabrook is supplying a quality that people are demanding, but few others are providing on that stretch of the coast.

    Buyers don’t really want the same old suburban development with homes disconnected and remote from their neighbors. They don’t really want houses that look all the same by the same builder, or houses that vary so widely that their neighbor’s shack pulls down the quality of their home. Instead we find Americans are begging for community again…real community that will once again have places for people to not only live in, but work, shop, recreate, celebrate together, and learn from one another.

    Seabrook will have no gates. It will have many inroads connecting it to the region. It will be open to the public, even along its high ocean bluffs where a promenade will overlook the wooded slopes down to the beach. No houses will be placed between the promenade and the expanses of the Pacific, unlike 99% of beach front property that backs up to the ocean elsewhere. Someone living 1/4 mile from the ocean, or many miles away in Ocean Shores can walk or bike along this bluff promenade and enjoy the ocean views. So Seabrook is neither exclusive, private, nor yuppified. It’s open to all.

    It’s not for me as the Town Planner to determine house prices, but I assure you I do what I can to locate various types of housing such as small cottage courts, town houses, and apartments in later phases and in places perhaps further from the beach but close enough to enjoy all the same civic amenities. We will eventually provide a broad range of house types, and in turn a greater range of choices for different people.

    In the end it’s simply a matter of supply and demand. If other developers were building communities of similar quality, or other towns nearby were joining together to breath new life into their homes, their stores, and their civic places, they might be seeing a similar rise in value as you’re seeing at Seabrook.

    Thanks for the opportunity to dialogue,

  9. Our extended family rented a house at Seabrook for the week in August 2006 and fell so in love with the Seabrook vision that we decided to buy one of their homes. The sense of community there is reminiscent of my years growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, where the kids play together outdoors and the parents actually speak to one another (unlike our neighborhood in Renton, WA where no one comes out of their houses – so depressing!)

    The craftsmanship and character of the homes is unlike anything I have seen in the new housing developments in the Seattle/Tacoma suburbs. You would easily pay upwards of $700 – 800K if you were to buy a similar style home in one of the classic Seattle neigborhoods (like Wallingford, Phinney Ridge, Madison Park, etc).

    For a reality check, the cost of renting a 3 bedroom beach house at Seabrook was only $1,600 for the week. We were able to comfortably fit 6 adults and 4 children in the house. That amounts to only $76 per family per night – talk about a bargain! We do expect rates to increase each year, but that is no different from any other beach community (such as Cannon Beach – a 5 hour drive from Seattle vs. 2.5 hours to Seabrook). While not everyone can afford to buy a second home, the rental option is within the reach of many families. Think about how much people pay to go to Disney World only to stay in a cramped hotel room or condo!

    The other thing I wanted to mention is that the Seabrook team is absolutely and genuinely passionate about the product they are offering. They are not there to make a quick buck and leave. Many of the team own or rent a house in Seabrook (while their homes are being built) – how many developers in Seattle can say that?

    BTW, our family visited Ocean Shores during our stay at Seabrook and that made us even more convinced that Seabrook would be a great investment – in spite of the price tag. No offense to those who own in Ocean Shores, but there is absolutely no comparison.

    We are stretching it to buy the house, but we know that we will have many family memories at the beach as a result.

  10. My wife and I are retired and would be interested in a home in the 200’s but to jump from mid 200’s to 575,000 in 15 months is just ludacris. The housing market has gone bonkers. Is this a community of transplanted Californians?

  11. My brother Steve is one of the key members of the construction team building Seabrook, and I can tell you that for someone who values craftsmanship and doing things right the first time as he does, this is a dream job. And I’d buy anything built by my brother and his crews because I know it will be right. Yeah, I’m biased–but I’m also in a position to tell you why I know things are being done right in Seabrook.

  12. While searching the web I happened upon your site. I live on the coast of Washington in the city of Ocean Shores. A mere 20 minutes from Seabrook. My former husband, Jim Donahoe, was the agent that participated in the sell of the land to Seabrook and he owns a home there. My daughter, Hillary Donahoe, worked as a personal assistant to Mr. Shakespeare on the construction side for a year. I probably know more about Seabrook and it’s inner dealings than I ever wanted to. What I can say, is that it is a beautiful development and the homes are spacious and well laid out. Seabrook has provided inspiration to the other local communities in the area and in the county. Something that has been needed around here for a long time.

    Personally, I would not purchase a home in Seabrook. No offense intended, I just need more space to roam free.

  13. After 15 months since I wrote the original piece, my family and I actually visited Seabrook again. To summarize our weekend stay in one word – WOW!

    The “town” of Seabrook is still a big construction site but whatever is finished has (just like its creators advertise) a soul. We stayed at Whatever Floats Your Boat – a lovely, well designed and neatly furnished “cottage” rental 5 minutes from the beach. We all enjoyed the bikes (a popular town theme), pathways, new lookout on the beach, and of course, the beach itself!

    We will definitely be back.


  14. The reason I like seabrook IS the price of the houses. It keeps the low class trailer trash from buying or renting houses at seabrook.

    • The town of pacific beach has a wonderful campground right on the beach that I love. It’s a long curvey road to it, but worth it.

  15. I have owned property a few miles south of seabrook for about 12 years, it just a campsite we go to 4 or 5 times a year, I have to tell you were blown away that someone is building this development out there, 3-900K houses and no view of the ocean!.

    I’m going to be amazed and shocked if this thing flies the way that they are planning it with all the stores ,shops and restaurants,I can see vacation houses but a whole town!.

    It’s a absolutely beautiful area but very far from any decent stores and heath care facility’s, whats weird is we have watched the whole area deteriorate over the last 10 years, almost all the businesses in Copales have closed, Pacific beach is at zero growth over that time frame , then in comes Seabrook with this grandiose scheme to build a urban what ever they call it, not my cup of tea but to each his own.

    all I can say about Seabrook is some people must have a lot of money burn, but if you got it what the heck, it is really a nice beach area backed by nice spruce forests and no cars allowed on the beach in the summer months, its going to be very interesting watching how this unfolds.

  16. Our family has been coming to Pacific Beach for years, and I agree with Jim: it’s going to be very interesting watching how this unfolds! For those of us used to staying in beachfront property, across the highway and down the bluff isn’t exactly a “beach town” but it’s certainly close, and it’s a tremendously beautiful area. And of course seeing a town actually planned is very hopeful; the New Urban towns in the East and South are very exciting.

    My greatest concern about the development is what seems to be the denial of how isolated it actually is. The closest grocery store is in Ocean Shores, the nearest medical facility is in Aberdeen, and it’s a good 3 hour drive from Seattle (or more if you’re trying to do it on a Friday). If it’s a town, how are the people who live there going to work? Especially at those prices they’re not going to be taking in each other’s laundry. But if it’s a collection of vacation homes — well, as I write, gas is over $4/gallon, food prices are soaring, and staying at home looks better and better.

    (We actually have reservations to stay at Seabrook this August; I’m definitely looking forward to giving it a try.)

  17. Despite living on the water on Puget Sound, my adult kids and us are considering a vacation home along the ocean. The Oregon coast is just a bit far, and Seabrook might offer an alternative. Does Seabrook offer lots and architect + builder, or are you left with only the existing plans/houses? There must be building sites which are on the ocean side of 109, or have they all been sold off but not yet constructed? A small “town” can offer lots of pluses, however, if the economy continues as it is I wonder whether Seaside will decline as are the neighboring communities — despite the proximity to the ocean.

    It certainly sounds like it is worth making an exploratory trip despite its somewhat isolation from services and stores.

  18. Pat,

    I have a client who has a lot in Ocean Park who wants to sell it and move to Florida. It has electricity and septic already. The other lots have homes, but they use theirs for a camper. I think it’s Ocean Park. I’ll double check. There’s a path across the street that goes to the ocean, so I guess it’s one house back from the ocean. They sell pretty cheap. It’s been awhile since I looked at it when they were thinking of selling it last year. I helped them buy it a few years back.

    Shoot me an email if you want me to check on it for you. It’s not on the market at present. It also has a canal in the back of the lot, for fishing I think. I’m not an outdoorsy type 🙂 But I can get you the detail.

  19. My goodness! Ocean Shores? I went to high school on the Long Beach Peninsula, a ‘rival’ of Ocean Shores. While Ocean Shores has beauty, it doesn’t compare in either beauty or things to do to the Long Beach Peninsula, which also has easy access to Astoria, Oregon, a very nice, small/middle sized town on the Columbia River.

    Go spend a weekend at Ocean Shores, and on the Long Beach Peninsula, and see what I mean. Maybe it’s just my small-town beach rivalry coming out! :-). I sold a beach house in Ocean Shores about 8 years ago, I loved it, but the clients ended up selling it saying it was just too far, and too isolated to make lots of weekend trips.

    Ardell’s clients who have the lot in Ocean Park are on the Long Beach Peninsula, and that lot may be in a pretty neat area based on her description. If you go there, also take time to go to the end of the peninsula to Leadbetter Point, a nature preserve, and very very cool. Also the Oysterville pioneer and Indian cemetary is fascinating.

    I’d be concerned about a development the size and style of Seabrook in not only our current economy, but also the economies of either Ocean Shores or Long Beach. Each area already has some established areas (Sahalee and Surfside Estates come to mind for the Long Beach Peninsula). I would look long and hard before I bought new construction in either area right now. A resale, yes, a lot, yes, but not a spec house today.

    These areas need long-term jobs that pay well, not more service-oriented low paying jobs. There are a lot of existing homes in both areas for sale, well worth taking a look.

  20. Leanne and Ardell:

    Thanks for your comments. My kids [married adults with kids] like the idea of a community and separate lots along the ocean might be too isolated — despite the access to larger central areas these lots might offer.

    What concerns me about Seabrook, or any other “new town” along the Washington coast, is the paucity of people who would seek to have vacation homes there as opposed to somewhere along Puget Sound. The lure of the ocean is truly different from the Sound, but the access to all ammenities along the Sound is a big plus. Whidbey Island, and even the shorelines along Olympia have lots to offer. Memories of how Ocean Shores was ‘hyped” years ago, and how is has developed over the years is a concern.

    Despite these misgivings about the oceanfront, I guess we will have to visit there and see what is up.


  21. I love the ocean, we lived on the ridge above Long Beach while I was in High School. Now I have a place on the Sound on Whidbey, high bank. All I can say, is it is warmer in the summer (we see sunshine on Whidbey!!), and less drizzle during the winter.

    The Pacific sure does win for watching winter storms … but the tediuos long gray days of winter and even summer get to you. The ocean communities are often 60 degrees and foggy when it is hot inland, as the marine air gets pulled to the warmer land masses, and fog lingers far too long. We used to drive out of Pacific County, and pretty much at the sign that said ‘leaving Pacific County’ we would see blue sky, and grey behind us :-).

    We used to tell people we didn’t tan, we rusted! But, today is far too hot for me anyway, so maybe I’d better rethink my cool weather bias!

    Enjoy your looking!

  22. Seabrook is charming — even in its current early development phase. New phases will be along the ocean side of the road, however, quite pricey.

    Ocean Shores is a dump!

    Need to rethink Whidbey, Camino, Vashon ……..

  23. I am owner at Seabrook and my wife and I have never regretted our decision to buy there for a moment. Yes, it is isolated and a long drive, but the last thing I want to see when I go to the coast is an Indian Casino or a Subway franchise.

    The remarkable thing about Seabrook is that if I were to list all of the things I treasure about it, the ocean would be down on the list behind community, architecture, the village green, my porch, etc. Life at Seabrook is truly an escape from the daily grind and it just gets better each time, with new infrastructure and plans unfolding. My kids don’t watch TV and play computer games at Seabrook; they play with their friends and use their imagination and that is worth its weight in gold! Before you judge it, come visit and give it a try.

  24. Pat – Whidbey is better than charming! And, you now can catch the commuter train from the Mukilteo side. You walk over from the ferry, and the train stops at Edmonds, and then at King Street Station, downtown Seattle, just about 1 hour. It’s been running since June 2nd, and I hear it is both fantastic, and a beautiful scenic ride.

    Rick, I don’t doubt that Seabrook is wonderful. I just wonder how such a big community can sustain itself in such a remote location.

  25. I think you’ll find that Seabrook will end up being like some of the wonderful gated communities I’ve been to along the Oregon coast, via a good friend of mine from Oregon, that do just fine without the concerns noted above. The people buying the homes there are buying it for long term vacation or 2nd homes that may end up becoming their retirement homes. If it’s a way to remove themselves from the regular grind and create good family memories, all the better. Many of these do start getting passed down from generation to generation.

    When I first saw the beginnings of Seabrook a few years ago it made me think of the planned cities of Florida that are very similar to this one. My guess is that it is from the same community mindset that those properties were conceived and I personally think it’s a good one.

  26. I agree with Rick that the major draw of Seabrook is the community, however, you cannot discount the lure of the ocean which cannot be duplicated by the Sound or a lake, I doubt it will become gated because of the state highway that runs thru it. It is quite like the planned communites in Florida and some along the Oregon coast. For those in Washington, it is the closest Seattle/Olympia ocean getaway with a community atmosphere.

    Without retail services at this time [grocery, deli, icre cream, etc.] it poses a camping like getaway — but I expect these services will be available in short order. Together with the PR blitz on the Seattle TV stations, Seabrook should rapidly take off — or due to the economy slowly fail.

    Despite the risks, I believe it is worth considering as a vacation/getaway area. Retirement living would be difficult without better access to medical care.

    I’m still interested and intend to check it out further.

  27. I remember the Surfside Estates development on the Long Beach peninsula in SW Washington in the 1970’s. We moved to Long Beach in 1969, I was in 8th grade if any of you want to do the math …:-).

    Surfside was just getting started, and they had an indoor swimming pool, that my family was able to join, although we didn’t have property there. Surfside is at the north end of the peninsula, and didn’t have nearby amenities, other than the tiny town of Ocean Park. Today, it isn’t exacly thriving, but it’s doing moderately ok, and I think the Long Beach Peninsula is much nicer than the Ocean Shores area … maybe I just have a bias :-).

    To give you an idea of value/costs, my dad has a developed lot there, with a 3-bedroom septic installed, and plans for building a 2-story home w/view of ocean from second story. It’s only worth about $65,000. It’s for sale, no takers currently.

    While Surfside Estates doesn’t have the “2008 marketing appeal” of a community like Seabrook, I’m not certain that there is enough “large scale” demand in the next 5 years for Seabrook to be a big success. I’d guess intead, it will be bumpy, and many who buy, but want to sell, won’t find buyers, and may have to sell at substantial losses.

    One thing about brand-spanking new is that it always appeals more to a buyer than a resale, although the resale is a much better value in most cases.

    I like the look and feel of Seabrook, just not the location. It’s the remoteness of it from amenities that seems the biggest drawback in this era of high gas prices – just getting there is costly enough, but you also want to be able to run errands, go shopping, etc. To think retail will open inside/near Seabrook and be able to survive is a big stretch.

    And, if most of the projected buyers are middle aged or retirement aged, then medical care becomes pretty strong as an issue.

    If the economy could stabilize, that would be an entirely different situation.

  28. Hello, I own a vacation house on Diamond drive, less than a quarter mile I’d say from Seabrook. My opinion is that the town homes are of better quality than average, and have been constructed in good taste. My biggest peave is, however is that the builder has stated how enviromentally friendly they are, in the town plans, and how it incorporates the natural settings. This does not really wash. However way one looks at it, they plunked a huge town right in the middle of a coastal habitat. Nice words about how eco-friendly this is does not make sense. I knew that someday they would begin the next phase and begin construction on the ocean side of the highway,and last Saturday I saw that it has begun. It seemed an entire, formerly gorgeous hillside has been clearcut. I am not anti-development, and not particularly anti-Seabrook, but I do think a slow and methodic step bu step growth structure in this area would have been more beneficial to the coastal environment and its ancient forests.

  29. My wife and I own a beach home close to Seabrook located near the Pacific Beach Resort. We enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean along with having all the stores and corner restaurants within walking distance.

    Seabrook is a pretty cool town but it pales in comparison to the quality of home you can buy not too far away for literally half the cost. The things we noticed right away about Seabrook when looking for our beach home was the cheapness of the finishes. Particularly the faucet fixtures and appliances to name a few. Our friends who vacationed in Seabrook, were not at all impressed as one of the handles on the faucet was completely stripped and later revealed the contractor had glued and not actually screwed the fixture in! I see Seabrook folks saying how the quality of their homes are “top notch,” I do not agree! As a former carpenter, the homes are literally made on the cheap and “look” pretty pleasing to the eye, but it’s all surface! Everything inside is either too small or completely done on the least expensive cost to maximize a huge profit for the builders. I also won’t even get into inspections and the greasing of pockets for inspectors to get a home cleared in that community. Scary. This place is ALL smoke and mirrors and any community that butters up inspectors is just eventually asking for trouble which I am sure Seabrook will soon experience if it hasn’t already!

    Bottom line, homes are sitting in that community and they’ve been sitting for quite some time. This community is way overpriced for so many. Plus, you not only get to endure an expensive home, you also have monthly Home Owners Association fees which will no doubt be expensive as they keep putting all that junk in there and the CC&R’s are simply so outrageous I would be in literal hell trying to keep up with them. If you’re a person who enjoys things “your way” I highly do not recommend a home at Seabrook. Oh, and about the “Green Building” going on over there? Right??? Not only do they use firewood for their nightly campfire, instead of recycling the burned logs, they throw them away!!! This place is not “Green Friendly!” Don’t be fooled by that jargon!

    Seabrook has recently let go of A LOT of employees and are currently working the land on the ocean side. I find it quite suspect for them to do this as building permits have currently been halted.

    If you’re really looking for a sure thing, check out some of the great properties located in the actual town of Pacific Beach, many homes there have all the amenities, great views and a town that has proven itself ten fold over decades! Most of all, do your homework and don’t be fooled by the hype of bells and whistles! I think it’s the hype that has gotten so many into this mortgage mess to begin with!

  30. Bikerman,

    Seabrook is expensive. It has CC&Rs and Homeowner’s dues. The rest of what you wrote is, sorry, hogwash. If you think Pacific Beach Resorts is a better deal, fine. But trying to do some astroturfing to trash a competing development doesn’t make me think very much of people who buy into or shill for Pacific Beach Resorts.

  31. Hogwash JMH? Sounds like you’re a snob that doesn’t see the yacht sinking. Seabrook is a joke and continues to dig itself deeper and deeper into oblivion. I find it humorous to watch their website on how they tout a buyer of Seabrook is making a “smart” decision. Please! Rich people are obviously drinkin the Kool-Aid and it certainly shows by the looks of our economy. I hope they all perish in their cheesy manufactured “Hollywood set” mess known as Seabrook!

  32. Perish? Seriously, WOW. This is just a town you are all talking about, you should not wish that upon anyone. Good riddance Bikerman!

    –verb (used without object) 1. to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.: to perish in an earthquake.
    2. to pass away or disappear: an age of elegance that has forever perished.
    3. to suffer destruction or ruin: His valuable paintings perished in the fire.
    4. to suffer spiritual death: Save us, lest we perish.
    —Idiom5. perish the thought, may it never happen: used facetiously or as an afterthought of foreboding.

  33. Seabrook is beautifully done on the outside & whenever we have out of town guests, we always drive them through. It’s been interesting to see the town rise up out of nothing, though indeed some beautiful coastal forests had to come down to accomodate it and more will follow as expansion continues. We stay at a small cabin (400 sq. ft.) a few miles down the road from Seabrook. Neighbors there know locals who worked on Seabrook houses with construction crews. What is the interesting thing, though, is what Seabrook represents in its odd setting. It had the feel of a luxury resort in Mazatlan, surrounded by relative poverty but insulated from it in every way. I actually feel uncomfortable touring around Seabrook with friends, realizing that the locals could never in a million years afford to buy there. No matter how green, how focused on “community” it may aspire to be, it represents the “rich guys on the hill” to the common folk around it. If I had a group of women who wanted to rent a house there for a weekend, it would be a stretch, but we might be able to swing it. It’s out of my reach, and my family income is around $50,000. Yes, Seabrook is the rich man’s refuge. It has somewhat stimulated the economy, and it certainly projects its vision to like-minded, well-heeled individuals, but it shines a glaring light on the haves and the have-nots…the powerful and the powerless. When decisions are made that affect poorer homeowners in the Pacific Beach area outside of the Seabrook development, will those people be given equal voice?

    • It costs about $289 to $379 to stay in a condo on the Oregon coast.

      Our house there in Seabrook is $270 during peak summer / holiday rate.

      The bottom line is it’s a peaceful place to stay, and 1.5 hours less driving than Cannon Beach area.

      Did I mention you get an entire house, fully furnished?

      It is not snobbish at all at Seabrook. Like many others have said before me, “Don’t knock Seabrook until you visit.”

      I say don’t even knock it then, because it is a work in progress.

      As a good faith gesture, I will let you stay in our home, Sand In The Toes, for one week. COMPLETELY FREE!

      What do you say about that?

  34. I agree with Lynn about the disparity of Seabrook being located where it is. The disconnect between the cost of the homes and the relative poverty of the surrounding area is disturbing.

    We’ve spent time at Pacific Beach every summer for over 25 years, mostly in the military housing. This past summer we splurged and spent 3 nights in Seabrook. Very odd experience. A very suburban experience, actually. A television in virtually every room, but of course, no sight of the ocean and not much feel of being near the ocean at all. The two teenagers with us loved riding the free bikes around, and meeting other kids (it was Labor Day and Seabrook was full). All the kids they met came from upscale housing developments in Issaquah, Kirkland, Bellevue, etc. We speculated that the parents chose Seabrook because it was deeply familiar. Houses crammed together, nothing funky and nobody a little odd to make you uncomfortable, television always available.

    The houses themselves are well built, according to my architect son-in-law, with good quality materials. But I noticed that even in the 2-year-old house we were in, there were starting to be problems: paint chipping off the outside windowsills (and it looked like no primer underneath), things a little grubby, the gas grill was rusty, the hot tub was full of sand and cleaned who-knows-when. It’s hard to keep up a house at the seaside, and this particular seaside is a long way from the owners’ homes.

    And as for Seabrook turning into a vibrant town, well …. time will tell. But I’m guessing that’ll happen about when pigs start to fly.

  35. Seabrook is the brain child of real estate developers – they’re strictly in it for the dollars. The marketing/public relations, tv ads, billboards, the web page – all of it is designed to get you in off the street and sell those homes for a big payday. It’s all calculated. Even the town layout – with some of the most crowded housing I’ve seen, is marketed like it’s a good “eco-friendly – the way towns used to be built” – thing. Maybe so – but 400 homes on 50/80 acres really means BIG payday for investors – not much yard for you.

    Here’s a thought: become your own developer! Why pay an extra 50% to line somebody else’s pocket? If you really like the ocean, make regular visits to the coastal areas/beaches (Wetsport, OS, Long Beach, etc.). Walk those beaches, enjoy yourself. Get a map, become familiar with your area, snoop the real estate web sites. And when you’re ready – pounce on a building lot. It doesn’t have to be ocean front, might be too spendy. Ocean view properties can be had for cheap, $35/45-80K (think about possible 2nd/3rd floor views). Also, and this is important, think about beach access and approaches. Then find yourself a builder, he’ll tell you how to get the lot surveyed, cost of utilities, hook ups, lot prep, etc. He’ll hook you up with other people in the know: someone to help w/the construction docs. Also, study ocean side architecture, styling. It’s your beach house. It doesn’t have to look like Aberdeen circa 1910.

    We bought a ocean view lot in 1997 for the price of a used car. Getting it ready for foundation cost us $10-12K. In 2005 we built a 1700 sq. ft. three story home for around $160-175K. No granite counter tops but we couldn’t be happier. Great sunsets, winter storms, beach combing, and it’s appreciating in value. We love the beach!

  36. My partner and I own a pretty cool home near Seabrook which we currently rent out as a vacation rental (see I’ve put in several ideas to Seabrook’s business planners for starting our own business there but I’ve gotten no response after numerous emails. Perhaps they’re just pacing themselves? Our hope is to build a business there after I retire from the military.

    The Seabrook community is quite a project! The thing to keep in mind when purchasing a Seabrook home is that you’re purchasing a “community” and not necessarily just a house. The people who invest in this community know there is a great deal of pride that is going into this and I don’t think the builder has any arbitrary plans of failing. We bought our home at a time when we were looking specifically for a place that had a great view and close to the town of Pacific Beach. Seabrook didn’t have those things at the time but I see they’ve finished developing a few of the ocean view lots and they’re starting a new phase of beach camp cabins that are under $200,000.00! They’re pretty small but you’ll be a part of the Seabrook community:)

  37. We are the very happy owners of a cottage at Seabrook that we use for weekend family getaways and rent to others who wish to experience something different from the usual Washington coastal experience. Some points raised by others, whether supportive or critical of the development, are well taken. It may be a bit too orderly for some people and may lack some of the messy vitality of older, well-established urban neighborhoods — but give it time. The construction is quite good overall for “production-built” housing, and the developer’s vision, execution and responsiveness are superior to that of every other developer I have dealt with over the past 25 years. If you are looking for truly high-end custom home construction, then the standard plans and specifications for homes in the initial phases of Seabrook might not be for you, nor are they intended to be.

    The project design is quite a departure from the prevailing development pattern in the area and the Pacific Northwest, which from our perspective is a positive thing. The postwar suburban model of detached homes set on large large lots sprawling across the countryside is on its last legs – due to increasing land cost, greater environmental sensitivity, and rapidly changing demographics and homebuyer preferences. For those who prefer this pattern, you’ve got plenty to choose from, as almost everything built in the past 65 years fits this model. For the rest of us, the choices and opportunities are extremely limited. We happen to believe that compact development along the lines of Seabrook will prove to be more sustainable in the long run, even if certain aspects of the community fall short of its ‘green’ vision statement. New urban communities are not for everyone, but many people these days do not want a big yard, wide streets, or a house that turns its back on its neighbors. Seabrook reminds us of our pre-war neighborhoods where porches, alleys and sidewalks encourage interaction among neighbors and a help create a strong sense of community. Not everyone is looking for this environment but for those who are, take a look at Seabrook.

    An earlier comment regarding the disconnect between those who can buy into Seabrook and the less affluent local residents who cannot does indeed register with us. On more than one level it doesn’t feel quite right, and our preference would be for the community to be more inclusive and accessible to more income levels. That said, the days of desirable coastal developments with mostly urban services and amenities that are priced to be affordable to most local buyers are probably long gone.

    At least every home sale at Seabrook generates a payment into the Seabrook Foundation equal to 1% of sale price that is used exclusively to support some of the pressing needs of the local community. For a $500,000 sale, this equates to $5,000, which I suspect exceeds what is donated to the local community by developers, sellers or buyers of most other coastal properties.

    For those who can find a way to buy into Seabrook, we do have faith and confidence that Seabrook (and other similar communities across the country) will continue to outperform their “conventional” large lot competition. For those of you who feel otherwise, why not be happy with what you have, or would prefer to have? I have yet to find a Seabrook buyer who regrets his or her decision to buy or who has lost faith in the community.

  38. I’m not a big fan of Kool-Aid, but I used to be when I was much younger. Clearly, however, many folks have been drinking it with respect to Seabrook.

    First of all, a planned residential tract development does not make a town, let alone “an authentic beach town…” This place is neat, but if you have been there and you don’t make a comparison to other artificial developments, you may be missing something fairly obvious.

    I’ll give you a hint:
    The Truman Show (great movie about a fake coastal town)
    Paris Hotel, Las Vegas (nice hotel, but it’s not Paris)
    Disneyland (fun place with great rides, but those furry creatures are not real animals!)

    Second, this place is a bit of a drive from the population centers. 3 hours from Seattle and 3.5 hours from Portland. Not a deal killer, especially for those trying to shed the city environment, but there are many other competing alternatives within 3 hours of both places. Despite that, the Pacific Ocean is a great spot and worth the drive for many people.

    Third, the real estate boom is over. The bubble has burst. The prices these places were offered at did not reflect the economic cost required to build them or the vast number of cheaper alternatives for coastal land. To be clear, very few homes within Seabrook are ocean front or even ocean view. That does not mean they’re not nice places or Seabrook itself is not a nice place. On the contrary, it’s a fine place. But there’s a big difference in the scarcity of waterfront land versus that surrounded by trees in a rain forest. The latter can be purchased by the truckload for a fraction of the cost of the former.

    Finally, while Seabrook is not my cup of tea I do hope they are able to survive the current market. I actually believe they will. That said, many people who paid $500K for a 1500 (or smaller) inland tract home in a planned development akin to a remote Disneyland without the rides or furry animals are going to have a rude awakening should they decide to sell in the next decade.

  39. We closed on a property of some historical and nostalgic value in Copalis Beach. We can afford Seabrook and we visited, did some research about the development and it’s stated goals regarding community and community responsibility.

    Unfortunately, we found our personal values in serious conflict with those of Seabrook, especially Seabrook Foundation.

    At first, the notion of a portion of the housing prices are put into a “Foundation” to benefit the community (surrounding community as well, we thought)

    Turns out, after talking to many locals in the area, we found a lot of things that we found disturbing about the Seabrook “team” and their promises to the community.

    JOBS- promised, not realized. Imported their own people. Undercut the local businesses by hiring their people out from under the local businesses, where locals were hired (temporarily) Maybe 10 locals work there for minimum wages, or close.

    SCHOOLS- 6 additional students total. Seabrook expected to add many more..

    POVERTY- surrounds Seabrook. The foodbank in Copalis Beach has about 300 “customers” on Wednesdays out of a total population of about as many full timers.

    CHILDREN- distinct from the school issue, the water in Copalis Beach is pretty rough. A lot of old wells serving families. No sewers, housing in desperate need of basic repair and energy efficiency. Seabrook has been instrumental in lobbying for water to come to CP, but the people are scared to death that they will lose their homes due to the hook-up fees, which are minimal for anyone in Seabrook, but might as well be a million for those in CP.

    So, my question is this: where is the Seabrook Foundation, what does it really do, what is it for and how does CP apply for some benefit.

    There is one tavern, a post office, fire station and extreme poverty and need. There is NO playground, community center, grocery store. More to the point, there is a lack of culinary quality water.

    The state park has no facilities, especially a playground. The local health department (SeaMar) has trouble retaining a physician.

    Seabrook could do better, even if they offer in-kind maintainence, use of their resources to improve the lives and dignity of the people they have moved in amongst.

    Community? It extends beyond the boundaries of Seabrook, my friends.

    It takes a village to be human, not simply to raise a child.

    Seabrook is pretty. Seabrook is fun. Seabrook is a nice place to visit. But it also is surrounded by great need and they could do a lot to stem the resentments they have created by DOING SOMETHING to contribute to everyone in the community, whether they live in Seabrook, or not.

    best regards.

  40. There is quite the range of commentary here about Seabrook. I, too, am mixed, and am looking for more information on what the real deal is. Tee’s commentary is articulate and concerning to me.

    While I understand the issue people have with the pricing of the homes at Seabrook this is not my primary concern. Although the homes are pricy in comparison to other homes in the general area, the prices are inevitably based somewhat on the willingness to pay. For example, if Seabrook’s target market is Seattle-ites looking for a weekend retreat, then the homes really are not necessarily that out of whack in terms of price.

    My concern and hesitancy surround the environmental and the social justice aspects. I wonder if the founders truly understand and believe in the tenets of New Urbanism and I wonder if they will see the project through. New Urbanism and similar movements embody some great ideas but these ideas are also growing in trendiness, making me wonder if the Seabrook development is all part of a greater fad and will fade with time.

  41. Seabrook was not designed to be an urban community, with “haves and have-nots”, transplanted to the coast. It was and is a community for those who can afford it designed in the New Urabnism culture.

    It is a family centered, well designed “town” that is growing and will probably outshadow many local sites in the area. Even in a down real estate market, folks are commiting to purchase and construct at Seabrook.

    The Seabrook team are not neophytes and are focused on assuring the Seabrook residents that recreation, retail, and other commercial ventures will be visible at Seabrook, and sooner than the naysayers believe.

    Owners at Seabrook probably considered other coastal vacation/getaway sites such as Cannon Beach, Ocean Shores, Long Beach, etc., and decided against them. If you are planning on investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a 2nd home, do you want a trailer park next door or homes of a similar value?

    Seabrook is a new experience for Washington. It captures elements of New England vacation enclaves, Florida beach towns, and the Oregon coast. It may not be the getaway site for eveyone, but it sure is perfect for many.

  42. Just today, rain and all, I drove from Olympia down to check out our beach-house at Copalis Rock Lane……because I’d heard so much about Seabrook my daughter-in-law and I drove the extra six miles to check out the lay of the land. We found Seabrook to be Enchanting, very well thought- out and a replica of a quaint, friendly and inviting little East Coast town. Even though I am sure some of the floor plans were the same I wasn’t able to spot any two look-alike cookie-cutter homes. The various sizes and types of homes available was terrific……some appeared to be mansions while even the smaller “cottage-type” homes had so much charm and character I fell in love with the concept Seabrook epitomizes. Kudos to all involved and I hope there will be enough controversy that many people will be inclined to visit and make their own judgments of the unique Development that Seabrook is. I’m thinking that it wouldn’t take much to easily be talked into selling off our family vacation home with “the million dollar view” and relocating to Seabrook. Oh, why I initially signed on here was my desire to become a “fan of Seabrook” on Face Book…..Could not discover how to do so….any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  43. We are currently staying at seabrook. . . and we’re not sure what to make of it. We love how adorable it is. We live in Queen Anne in Seattle and see many of the same things about that neighborhood here. I am an architect and am pretty familiar with new town planning (I have a M. arch @ Univ of Maryland where there is an emphasis on this types of planning and design.) i get what the planners and architects are doing. I get, and agree with it, but there is always this sense of suspicion in my mind when it comes to this kind of thing.

    Here’s why (I think):

    When i am emerged in a neighborhood / community like this. . . i really appreciate good design. And that’s what Seabrook is in most cases. It’s just good design. *but* when said “good design” is wrapped-up and sold as “traditional family” friendly packages. . . that’s where I have pause.

    The communities of yesteryear. . . and what they looked like, represented a certain time where certain social attitudes about women, minorities, non-christians, etc. existed. As a woman, married to a woman, we are not a “traditional family” and I guess I am reminded of that constantly here. . . that the “good life” excludes people like us. . . even down to the house we are renting that comes with a “male” and “female” style bicycles.

    OTHO. . . Seabrook is completely a place where people like us should be! 😛

    so in the end. . . we’re left with a wait and see attitude about buying here too.

    • Julia,

      Seabrook is for you. I am shocked that you feel you are reminded that you are not a traditional family. We have a house there and believe me there are several families like yours. That is something I really like about the SB community. The fact that it is not gated, does not have a golf course and promotes community–all sorts of community. I also think this is a good time to buy. The prices have really come down. SB does not build spec houses but when the economy went on the skids they built houses in a very comfortable price area that sold immediately and are selling new houses now for very reasonable prices. I live on Capitol Hill in Seattle and if there was any hint of problems with women, gays, minorities, non-christian (me) I would be out of Seabrook in a flash. BTW they just built a wonderful new pool.

  44. Terrible what they did recently! They cleared and devastated a beautiful old growth forest that was part of there dominion. I think it was to sell off some of there timber, cause times are bad. Don’t know, but for whatever reason, its a huge travesty. Stay away from Seabrook. I hope the project fails.

    • Cal – Seabrook was concerned that the Department of Ecology may change their tune and not allow that area (designated for the town’s main street and downtown) to be cleared, so they cleared the area preemptively. Based on their current development plans it sounds like that area may sit undeveloped for some time, but had they waited they may not have been permitted to clear it at all. It may be in the interest of the local permit authorities to let Seabrook do what they want, but the DOE is more likely to crack down.

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