Downtown Seattle

While Downtown Seattle is not my normal, day to day bailiwick, I think a few comments are in order, given the recent press regarding the growth in the downtown Seattle area.

We recently sold a fabulous “view” condo in the Newmark and were involved in the “bidding war” over the almost penthouse suite, so I have some limited, first hand knowledge of the goings on in Downtown Seattle.

If you are purchasing a downtown Seattle condo, be a little wary of bargains and do your homework. With all of the new buildings soon to be coming, make sure you check out the direction of the view, as many will be blocked by the soon to come tall buildings. Don’t buy based on view until you check out for yourself if the view is unobstructable, or at least not likely soon to be obstructed.

The trade off of course is that the street level will dramatically improve in the Pike Place Market area, even if the view will be blocked.

Also, if you are looking at comps to support value for your purchase, you need to know about the massive remodeling being done in some downtown condos. The remodels are not your typical-run of the mill, upgraded finishes. Entire reconfigurations of the floor plans have been going on, so that the bedroom is now the living room, etc, to refocus the prime view rooms based on what is to come. Also go outside and study the building and its windows. That one that sold for mega dollars on the 24th floor, had a completely different window configuration than those on the 23rd floor and lower. You can see that there are many more windows on some levels than others, if you study the building exterior. On site research is in order, as you will see things that comps on paper will not readily reveal.

So don’t just assume that the one you are buying is worth the price and calculate the cost of granite counters and the like. Make sure the views will not only be preserved, but will be preserved in that part of the living space that most determines value. Views from the bedroom are great, but views from the living space hold a higher value. Clue is if you have to keep saying “Come into my bedroom and see the view”, that condo is not worth the same as one that has views from the living room. Unobstructable views from both the master bedroom and the living room, of course is best, but hard to come by.

That is not to say that there aren’t some great values down there, because there are. Just be sure the “bargain” price isn’t due to the view being about to disappear and do the homework yourself. Get your info from “the horses” mouth. How you pick your horse to rely on ? In that regard, I don’t have a tip sheet for you 😉

It’s OK to get caught up in the hoopla regarding Downtown Seattle. Just do your homework carefully, as that will determine the winners from the losers, when the dust settles after the new buildings go up.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

3 thoughts on “Downtown Seattle

  1. Pingback: Seattle’s Increasing Rent and Real Estate Prices at Seattle Pulse

  2. Hmmmm. We recently closed on a full view condo across from Pike Place market for one of our buyers at $315,000. That was a one bedroom. One up on the 20th floor, two bedroom, just went into escrow this weekend at about $450,000.

    Judging prices based on new vs. resale could skew the figures and create the perception that housing is not affordable, same as my Kirkland post. Price for new construction, especially “to be built” untested pricings, can lead to erroneous conclusions.

    I am talking condos, not co-ops, which are much cheaper as a rule.

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