Hopefully you’re following along with our 365 Things to do in Seattle WA…but in case you haven’t heard about it yet we wanted to pass along our day 41 to you. We are involved in a wonderful event raising money for local foster kids and the event is scheduled for this Sunday at Kirkland’s Tech City Bowl. Our team is: Striking Realtors and we’ll be dressed in our pajamas. We would love it if you could make a donation to help these local foster kids and when you do you’ll be entered to win a pair of Seattle Seahawks Tickets 3 rows from the field. Find out more about the drawing and the event on our 365inSeattle event and see how you can help.
Queen Anne has long been one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods because of its easy proximity to Downtown Seattle while still maintaining a “small town” feel.
The Queen Anne Neighborhood of Seattle is amazing from all angles – on the North slope there are lovely views of Ballard & Fremont over the canal and the Fremont Sunday Market is practically right there! To the East is Lake Union with houseboats all along Westlake, the Bigelow Ave portion of Queen Anne Boulevard, Downtown Seattle views, and more. In the Southeast, the newer QFC is just one of the factors that make this part of the neighborhood score high on WalkScore (my latest Queen Anne contract in this area has a WalkScore of 94!!!). In the shadow of the iconic Space Needle, Lower Queen Anne or Uptown is full of restaurants, pubs, and nightlife and has the Seattle Center at its heart. West Queen Anne is perched high above Puget Sound and offers sweeping views of the sound, city, Space Needle, Mount Rainier, and pretty much anything else you want to see as it is one of Seattle’s highest hills. Upper Queen Anne is the true heart of the neighborhood and a stroll or drive along Queen Anne Ave North will show you why. This is the heart of the upper portion of Queen Anne and where you can find all of the offerings from local clubs, restaurants, and merchants. One of my personal favorites is Queen Anne Books.
Historical Queen Anne:
Queen Anne is one of the original Seattle neighborhoods settled and the history of it is quite fascinating! A stroll around Queen Anne Boulevard is a great place to start. Old Queen Anne Boulevard is a series of streets that form a loop around the top of Queen Anne – a crown around the top of the hill. Many people don’t know about the Boulevard, but it has been around in one form or another for about a hundred years thanks to the citizens of Queen Anne at the time who pushed for it. Queen Anne Boulevard is Queen Anne’s version of the Green Lake path although it is almost a mile longer at roughly 3.7 miles and shares its surfaces with cars. Look for historical sites on the Boulevard including the Wilcox Wall on the West slope, but also notice that there are some of the city’s best views along the way!
Queen Anne Real Estate:
Homes in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood range from small co-ops and condos for under $200,000 to sweeping historical mansions priced in the millions, but the current median for listed residential (non co-op or condo) Queen Anne homes is $650,000 with a range of $325,000 to $4,890,000. Although much of Queen Anne hill is made up of historical architecture, there are some really well thought out new construction projects on the hill – many that incorporate greener building products and that have incorporated the character of the surrounding neighborhood as well as the views available into their design. Queen Anne has a lot to offer and can be surprisingly more affordable than one might initially have thought in some areas.
Queen Anne Living:
This neighborhood is so livable! The streets of Queen Anne are connected by a matrix of pedestrian staircases (check out Thomas Horton’s map of them here) and sidewalks which lead to the wide array of neighborhood parks, local grocers and shops, eateries, coffee houses, and more. Transit is thoroughly incorporated into the infrastructure here with bus routes all over the hill. If you are looking for a good no car option, than Queen Anne is definitely one of my top recommendations in Seattle, but obviously, with or without a car, it is one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods!
While I am not seeing any huge surprises in the market overall in King County, there were some jaw-dropping results in individual neighborhoods.
Amazingly great results from Downtown through 85th in both the first and second price tiers.
Amazingly poor results in Kirkland’s 98033 vs 98034 zip codes. Those areas are usually reversed in terms of performance.
Redmond did not perform as well as they did last year. Bellevue only doing well in the lowest price tier.
All of King County still struggling in the over $1M market, with no exceptions.
The clear winner by far shown in the 2nd graph here, as compared to other parts of Seattle and the Eastside. Those figures of only 133 for sale in the lowest price tier, with 455 sold YTD, is beyond anyone’s wildest dreams for this market. My guess as to the dismal results for 98033 is that most of the cheapest homes used to be sold for lot value…and there are few takers for building lots and tear downs these days. The remainder of the problem is likely that homes are just overpriced, and buyers are getting much better at finding true value, vs negoatiating off of list price. This is sending the 98033 buyers into 98034 for better values and larger and nicer homes for the money.
I will be doing some in depth studies of the neighborhoods from Downtown through 85th to see if Queen Anne is outperforming Capitol Hill or if Fremont is outperforming Green Lake. Overall…as a group…clearly the best neighborhoods in terms of consistent performance which could be the hedge one is looking for against further price declines.
(Required Disclosure – The data used in this post is not compiled, verified or posted by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Hand calculated by ARDELL.)
Some people don’t know this, but….
I was a single mother for years until I met and fell in love with my next door neighbor in the Sunset Hill neighborhood of Ballard. Single parents develop a real knack for making every dollar stretch, and I am thankful that things have been easier (most of the time) with a husband! As we all look for ways to save money and make sure that our families are provided for, I find myself revisiting some of those older ideas.
Seattle is really a phenomenal place to live for great free entertainment, but out of town visitors will love these, too! Make sure and check out the Seattle Parks Foundation website if you have a minute, too. They have wonderful resources for all the latest and greatest in parks! This is only the first ten of these because I really don’t want to hog the whole page. Happy Seattle summer 2009!
1. Go visit the Hiram M. Chittenden locks (aka Ballard Locks) in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. OK, I will be honest. I am starting with my one of my very favorite places. This was built in 1911 and serves as a passageway between the Puget Sound and the Ship Canal so that boats can travel to and from Lake Washington and Lake Union despite the huge difference in water levels. Visitors can watch as the water is raised and lowered to let boats come in and out on either side. But that is not all! The grounds are beautiful and feature extensive mature gardens and plantings. There is also a cool fish ladder on site as well as a museum/learning center. Even after any trips here, we always have fun going again! Need more free here? In 2009 from June 6th to September 7th (Labor Day) there will over 30 FREE and open to the public concerts at the Ballard Locks!
2. Museum of Flight This is one of the Seattle museums that offers first Thursdays free (after 5PM only) and is a great place to see some of the world’s amazing historic planes including one of the Air Force One planes that Kennedy flew in! This is another of my favorite places in Seattle. This museum is located in one of the early Boeing facilities and the history is just rich. There is something for everyone here and it is kid friendly. I would suggest visiting item #6 (Hat n Boots) after wards because of the close proximity. There is a good restaurant on site at the museum, but a picnic at the park is much more fun!
3. Conservatory at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill is so much fun! The park itself is also amazing and has great paths and spaces, but I am in awe of the Conservatory building itself – 6200 square feet of plantings and displays by people that obviously know what they are doing. There are 3426 glass panes on the building. It was assembled in 1912 and has two plants in it that are over 75 years old – one of which is a giant Jade Tree. This is not your ordinary Jade plant! The Conservatory is completely FREE, though I do encourage you to throw a few dollars in their donation bin.
4.Carkeek ParkOver six miles of trails and an Education Center, large open spaces for playing, picnic facilities, a stage, wonderful playgrounds including a fish slide where children can slide through a salmon, plus the beach!!!! Carkeek Park overlooks the Puget Sound and is one of my favorite parks in Seattle! Carkeek Park is just North of the Blue Ridge neighborhood in Seattle and well worth the trip from anywhere in the Puget Sound.
5.Pike Place Market – You do not need a dime to go have fun here, but support these locals if you can. I love it here and could spend all day watching the hustle and bustle!
6. The Hat N Boots in Georgetown – I love these! How cool is it to visit some old giant boots that used to be his and hers restrooms at a gas station. According to one source when the hat and boots gas station was up and running in its previous location even Elvis stopped in once ( I am sure there are lots of Elvis sighting stories – true and untrue, but I love the idea that Elvis may have peed in that boy boot!). The good people of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood played a huge part in getting the Hat n Boots moved to their current location at Oxbow Park (6400 S Corson Ave.). The boots are newly refurbished, but the hat is looking sad while waiting for funds. There is a great neighborhood p-patch there with some of the most amazing plantings I have had the privilege of seeing and the playground keeps my kids entertained for quite some time, but don’t expect to be able to use the boots as a restroom today – they are for display only.
7. Green Lake – Go explore Green Lake Park – This park has it all – a 3+ mile path around the lake itself which is perfect for biking, hiking, running, skating, and more, play space, ball fields, pool, tennis courts, and my favorite: the wading pool on the North side of the lake which is filled when it is warm. There are docks for kayak launching or you can fish off the side of the banks of the lake. There is golf here and basketball, plus bathrooms. Swimming is allowed and there is a life guarded swimming beach. Green Lake is a great neighborhood to live in anyway, but really gets busy when the nice weather hits. Green Lake is a great place to take the dog for a walk, too.
8. Fremont Troll. This is a giant troll made of concrete holding an actual VW in its hand! It is located in Fremont under the Aurora Bridge and WORTH THE STOP! The Fremont Troll is also a great photo opportunity! While you are in Fremont, take a stroll along the ship canal waterfront and visit all the great little vintage shops. There is almost always something fun going on in Fremont.
9. Alki Beach Park While I was a single mother, the tradition was to go every Sunday morning and find beach glass at Alki Beach in West Seattle and then drive up into the hills and look at the dreamy houses. Alki has some of the best views of the Downtown area of Seattle anyway and the beach glass is abundant! There is also a rough boat launch for hand carried kayaks, etc. and restrooms. Alki Beach is a 2.5 mile strip of beach and one of the closest to a California Beach atmosphere I can think of right here in Seattle complete with rollerblading and jogging patrons.
10. Take a bike ride on the Burke Gilman TrailGo basically from Ballard all the way up to Kenmore along some of the prettiest trails and areas in Seattle. The Burke Gilman is virtually uninterrupted for the most part from Fremont to Kenmore and skirts the Western side of Lake Washington plus there are restrooms along the way.
Okay, well that is it for now with my penny pinching ideas for fun around Seattle! Even if you aren’t in the market for saving money, go and explore your city! Seattle is a great place to live and play.
Some of the many Historic Snohomish Homes are oriented on wide tree-lined streets and remind me of growing up in the Capitol Hill neighborhoods very near St. Joe’s school, Stevens Elementary School and Holy Names Academy. Some of the larger historic homes of Snohomish share similar architecture, classic lines and warmth that is accentuated when under the soft blanket of our local snowy weather.
I brought the camera to work this morning to hopefully capture some scenery (or crazy drivers) while coming to work and on my way home. These are very amateur photos, but I tried. Enjoy.
This photo above does not show it well, but there is a large wooden placard hanging under the front porch gable that reads, “Merry Christmas.” It must be about 8 ft wide. If you click the photos you might see it better.
Classic. Gorgeous wrap-around radius deck and historical colors, probably from the Benjamin Moore palette paint line. A wonderful treat to see a full Christmas Tree in the upper 2nd floor porch/deck. Tremendous detail on this historic home, much of the 2nd floor shows wonderful wood work, pillars and dentil molding. (Boy, I wish Snohomish had a lumber store similar to Seattle’s old Blackstock Lumber. I’d probably be broke buying up all that clear VG Fir moldings) Much is blocked from the trees, but who’s complaining? Not me.
These homes are a lot to take care of and maintain, but there is nothing like them.
Snohomish river looking from park in downtown Snohomish towards the east. Just weeks ago, this river was raging and near flood stage. In years past, the flooding of this river would rise to levels above the bank, which is several feet high and cover those bolted down picnic benches.
I’m really excited that today’s episode of Rain City Radio will feature Cory and Kate of MyBallard. I have an obvious Ballard-bias because I think it is one of the best areas in all of Seattle, so it should be a lot of fun to explore this neighborhood with some of the best local bloggers!
You can listen to the conversation starting at 4pm by simply clicking on the play button on the radio widget on the right panel, or call-in to the program by following the instructions on the TalkShoe page.
I thought it was a wondeful conversation with Cory and Kate of MyBallard! You can listen to the entire conversation by using the “TalkShoe” widget to on the sidepanel of Rain City Guide!
We covered a mix of topics around both local blogging and their take on Ballard. I found it particularly interesting that they both have only lived in Ballard for less than a year, and yet have quickly developed a strong connection to the neighborhood. Also interesting, is that like Tracy from the West Seattle blog, they both of journalism degrees and see this local blog as a future in terms of how news will spread through communities.
As I mentioned last week, this next episode of Rain City Radio will feature Justin of the Capitol HIll Blog! So, if you want to learn about the ins-and-outs of this great neighborhood in Seattle, then check in with us at 4pm today (July 8th).
And if you want to call in to ask your own questions of our guest, then you can follow the simple instuctions on this page… and if all you want to do is stream the conversation live, then a few minutes before the show, you should see that option on the talkshoe widget on our sidepanel!
One of the things I’m most excited to learn about is the new format that their using for this community site. It’s got all kinds of ways for people to interact on a very local level and I’ll be curious to get Justin’s feedback on how this is working.
The recorded conversation is now live and you can listen to it using the player on the sidepanel! Justin was a most gracious guest and shared lots of great insights about Capitol Hill with us… including the best place to get waffles! The new platform their running at Capitol Hill blog is extremely interesting and has spurred a lot of ideas for ways I might be able to add similar features to RCG…
The weather is warming and so are the Seattle neighborhoods….
It takes a couple weeks to receive the photo and for a few cents extra, you can order the records that they [photopress:prince.JPG,thumb,alignright]have available from that time. The black and white photo is from 1939 of the property which was built in 1927. The color photo is a current picture of the home.
To order a photo of your home from the Puget Sound Achieves, click here to send an email. You will need to provide:
- Property address
- Tax Parcel Number (I can help you find this if you don’t have this handy)
- Legal Description (lot/block…they just want a brief one)
- Your name and contact info
You can order anything from a 5×7 for $17.00 to a 16×20 for $55.00. They will let you know what years are available. It’s kind of fun to frame the older photos or to at least have them on hand.
Where do you find inspiration?
Out of all the places to find inspiration for a blog post, my current favorite is deep within the RCG stats where I can find the search terms that people use to reach this site. Today, someone came to RCG looking for: [things+you+should+know+before+moving+to+Seattle], and while we likely disappointed that particular visitor, I would like to make amends by offering up this list of ten things you should know before moving to Seattle:
2) No really, it rains a lot here. Despite what they say about it raining more in Atlanta, Boston, or D.C., the rain in Seattle can be like a slow trickle that never turns off. But the rain is okay… really… because one day… some day… it stops. And on those first few warm, sunny spring days, all of life is good in a way that Californians will never understand (unless they move to Seattle).
3) Seattle isn’t always comfortable being a high-tech town. Sure we design operating systems, sell stuff online, try to appraise every home in America and stream lots of music and movies, but a substantial portion of the population relates much more to the art of building airplanes.
4) Consensus Rules. Just agree with me on this one or I’ll never be able to get to #5.
5) Traffic Rules. People in Seattle talk a lot more about traffic than the weather. Depending on where you are moving from, traffic will either be horrible or a non-issue. Most blue-state people will laugh at Seattle traffic because you can normally get between any two points in the City in under a half-hour at all times of the day. Red-state people see the parking lot known as SR 520 and wonder why we haven’t build another bridge yet (see #4 for a hint at the answer).
6) Seattle is not that big. We have all the stuff associated with life in a major city: Theaters, traffic, ballets, sports teams, traffic, skyscrapers, music, etc., but you really don’t have to travel far to feel like you are in rural America.
7) Seattle is closer to Asia than Mexico. If one of the staples of your diet consists of cheap and tasty Mexican food, then you will eventually replace that staple with Pho. The sooner you accept this (and the sooner you stop saying “The Mexican food is so much better in California”), the sooner Seattleites will let you know about the good Asian restaurants. (And by the way, since we’re talking about good food, I feel obliged to mention that the Mexican food I remember growing up with in California was so much better than anything you can find in Seattle…)
8) The intersection of NE 50th St and 40th Ave NE is about a mile away from 50th Ave NE and NE 40th St. In the Seattle area, all the street names are numbered and given one of nine directions (NW, N, NE, SW, S, SE, E, W or blank). The numbers begin at 1 in downtown Seattle and radiate out wards. The directions also radiate out, but are city specific, unless, of course, they aren’t… Like at the intersection of 244th St SW, 100th Ave W, N 205th St and 8th Ave NW. There is logic to the entire street system and if you live here long enough, you will understand. Until then, you will be confused and miss appointments, meetings, birthdays, etc.. On a related real estate note, if you are new to Seattle, do not attempt to search for a home without a real estate agent. The street system was designed by a committee of real estate agents who wanted to ensure that you need their help to locate a home. 😉 Also on a related note, Redfin has proposed new street names (featuring real names) for all streets in a effort to ensure the viability of their business model, but at this point, they are still very far from getting consensus on their proposed naming convention.
9) Paul Allen.
Have I covered everything?