Tag Archives: Maple Leaf

MY FAVORITE THINGS: current addictions

Like most of us, I see new shiny objects every few weeks.  Sometimes they’ve been around awhile, sometimes they’re brand new, but once I catch on to something I love I just can’t stop.    Here’s a few of my latest addictions –

MY NEW FITBIT FLEX:

I was super late catching on to this trend, as I saw friends of mine start purchasing last fall.  Now that I’ve had mine for two weeks, i’m obsessed.  As a naturally competitive person, this little $100 wristband is motivating me to walk and run more and eat healthier.  I can compete against friends of mine through its little social network to be the most active in a 7-day time period, cheer them on, “taunt” them, and message.  I can input what I eat and have it track calories.  And my favorite feature is being able to monitor my sleep and see why I’m grumpy some mornings due to the amount of restlessless I had in the night.

SEATTLE CIDER COMPANY SEMI SWEET CIDER:

Although usually an avid beer drinker, with spring on the way I find myself picking up individual cans of this once or twice a week from Ballard Market.  Based in SODO, the relatively young Seattle Cider Company is the first cidery in recent history within Seattle city limits, and they’re doing a great job.  The two regular ciders they produce are Dry and Semi Sweet – and I’m loving the latter.

cider

MAPLE LEAF ACE HARDWARE:

I moved to Maple Leaf last August and bought a fixer I’ve been remodeling since (almost done, woohoo!).  Maple Leaf Hardware has been phenomenal – they carry way more than I expected them too, they’re dog friendly inside so I can walk there with the beast, and at any given time there appears to be about 500 employees ready to help.  Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but have you tried finding someone to help you at the Home Depot lately?  Maple Leaf Ace also has tons of gardening equipment and with it finally becoming spring, it’s a super convenient north Seattle spot to get planting.

Why I moved to Maple Leaf (and why you should, too)

I lived in Phinney Ridge for a year, and Green Lake for three years, before moving to Maple Leaf this summer.  A good friend of mine still jokes that I moved to “southern Canada,” and some other friends less familiar with the area ask me where Maple Leaf is.

Maple Leaf is pretty much considered to be everything east of I-5 to Lake City Way, and then as far south as 80th and as far north as Northgate Way.  And now, it’s home.

So why would I ever leave Green Lake, and move to Maple Leaf instead? Well, affordability for one.  If you look at every currently active single family home on the market in Maple Leaf right  now, you get an average price per foot of $228.91 (average price of $562,238).    Compare that to Green Lake, whose borders are 80th to the north, 50th to the south, and Aurora and I-5 west to east, and you see a big difference.  The average price per foot of a home in Green Lake right now is $338.30.   That means if you take a 1500 square foot house in Green Lake you’re likely to pay $507,000 – put the same house in Maple Leaf and you’ll be paying closer to $343,000.

But Green Lake is cool, right?  Short answer: yes.  But, Maple Leaf was listed by Redfin earlier this year as one of the hottest and most “up and coming” housing markets in the entire country. They attributed this to the lower housing prices, local schools and easy commuter access.

I’ll admit I was hesitant to leave Green Lake.  But did I really leave?  I can walk to the lake in about 15 minutes.   More importantly, I’ve discovered a whole new slew of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and more that are right in my own neighborhood (not the mention the amazing Maple Leaf Hardware, who is getting me through some remodel work).

So if you’ve been shopping for a home in Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford or surrounding area, and are feeling down at the rising prices that are edging you out of the market, come see me in southern Canada.

Green Lake Real Estate Inventory: 2013 and Beyond

Green Lake, I love you.  But if you don’t start providing inventory soon for my buyers that are still waiting in the wings to purchase, I’m going to get annoyed.

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve taken a look at current Green Lake inventory from 85th at the north end down to 50th at the south end, and between Aurora & I-5.  And do you know what I’ve found?   Seven homes for sale.  Seven.  That’s all.  That’s one condominium and six homes, with price ranges from $205,000 (for the condo, the lowest price house is $399,000) to $859,000.

This 3,500 square foot house on Green Lake Way N is currently listed for sale for $765,000:

5012 Green Lake Way N

I don’t think this data will come as shock to anyone, and I’m sure everyone can make the interpretation as to what this is continuing to do.  Limited inventory drives up house prices, causes bidding wars, and also reflects only a small amount of sales.  So far in  January, nine homes have closed in the Green Lake neighborhood.

Time to get frustrated?  If you’re a buyer or a real estate agent, sure.  Time to panic?  Nope.  Last January, Green Lake closed twelve homes – just three more than where we’re at today.  And in January 2011, Green Lake only closed four homes.   My biggest fear is that sellers who are waiting to list because they’re seeing prices rise will all list their homes around the same time, bringing on more inventory than necessary.  However, the desirability of the Green Lake neighborhood should continue to move homes quickly into the hands of new buyers, no matter how many come on the market at once.

The other trend I’m seeing right now is the greedy seller.  Yes, it is a seller’s market.  Yes, prices are rising.  But no, buyers out there aren’t actually stupid and still aren’t going to pay way more than market value for your home.  If your home is listed in Green Lake (or most of the surrounding area) for more than 30 days, there’s a strong chance that you overpriced it so much, no one even wants to make a low offer.

Other neighborhoods seeing similar action: Ravenna, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and particularly Maple Leaf after Redfin named it one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in the country to watch. 

As always, I’m happy to help any of my neighbors purchase or sell their home, and provide free extensive market analysis reports to sellers.  You can reach me directly at sheath@matrixrealestate.com or at (253) 653-6299.

New on the market: 5 bedrooms in Maple Leaf under $500k

This morning I just listed a new home for sale in Maple Leaf that I think is absolutely adorable.  For a start, it has a perfectly symmetrical view from the street that gives it amazing appeal right from the first look.   It’s also just a few short doors down from the Maple Leaf Playground and less than a mile from Green Lake.

Once you’re inside, you walk into an enormous living room with hardwoods and the big original 1928 fireplace.  From there, you can walk through the swinging butler’s door to the kitchen.

The kitchen has porcelain tile countertops with a full height tile backsplash and white cabinets, and gets more light than any room I’ve ever seen.  It also has a super cute eating nook with built-in full-height cabinets that give tons of storage space!

There’s one bedroom on the main floor, with hardwood floors.  There’s also a full bathroom on the main floor with hex-tile flooring and an oversized vanity.  Upstairs, you find two more bedrooms with walk-in closets and another 3/4 bath, plus tons more light flowing in from all the windows.

If you head down to the basement, you find two more finished bedrooms and another full finished bathroom.  You also find a spacious laundry area with washer/dryer and a laundry sink, plus tons of cabinet space and counter space.

There are two doors to the backyard, which is level and grassy and partially fenced (really easy to fence the remainder).  Out there you’ll also find a pleasant surprise – a 2-car garage at the end of the long driveway.

Overall the home is 2400 square feet with five bedrooms and 2.75 baths.  It’s listed at $474,950 and will be open this Sunday, July 15th, from 12pm to 4pm.  Stop by and see – or ask your broker to show you anytime.  The home is located at 828 NE 83rd Street.

Cooper’s Alehouse 10th Annual IPA Fest with over 55 brews (Hopheads get ready)

Maple Leaf resident Josh Dylan pointed out to me recently that I write an awful lot about Latona Pub and just not enough about the other local watering holes.  I don’t mean to, but I don’t make it out of my immediate neighborhood too often.  So a big thanks to Josh for reminding me of a very cool event coming up at Cooper’s Alehouse at 8065 Lake City Way NE.

Cooper’s is getting ready for their 10th Annual IPA Fest coming April 6th through the 27th.  That may seem like a long time, but it’s just long enough to pour over 55 different IPAs – with a minimum of 12 beers on at any given time.

Details about a few of the special beers to be tapped will be announced soon, but Cooper’s won’t be having Brewer’s Nights and won’t be doing any special “Rare Beer Announcements” (to avoid what they refer to as the Pliny Poachers, people who come in and suck up all the “special” beer before the regulars can).  They will be putting their taplist on their Facebook and Twitter feeds for those that want to take a look before heading down.

This year, Cooper’s is adding something very cool to the IPA Fest – they plan to have four unmarked taps at all times so that people can have their own blind tastings.  The unmarked taps will rotate about once per week (or sooner if the keg is blown).  As new beers come on to the unmarked taps, the previous week’s beers will be announced so people can know what they were tasting.  Anyone think they’re up to the challenge?

Green Lake & North Seattle Real Estate Roundup – the Stats February 2012

Has another month gone by already?  Even with an extra day, February was a blur of working seven days a week with tons of first time buyers taking advantage of low interest rates and what many assume to be bottomed-out prices (I have fingers crossed that they’re right).  So alas, it is time once again to look back at the last month of Green Lake and North Seattle real estate and see where we stand.

Green Lake faired a little slowly in February, with six single family homes closing and one condominium.  Completely by coincidence, three of the six closings were homes all within just a few blocks of each other on Wallingford Ave N.  Of the closed homes, the average price was $544,392 and the average size was 2,410 square feet, giving us about $226/ft.

Currently within the Green Lake boundaries (as always, 80th to 50th, Aurora to I-5, compiled by NWMLS data), there are 9 active single family listings ranging in price from $375,000 to $1,189,000.  Amazingly, there are another 13 pending (plus three pending short sales), which indicates that March is going to be an extremely strong month for closings.  Of the nine active listings, four were added in February and the remainder stayed on from previous months.  With only nine active houses and 13 pending, we’re seeing that we don’t actually have enough inventory in the area.  This will help keep pricing solid and continue the trend we’ve been seeing of multiple offers and quick sales.

In all of north Seattle, we saw 118 sold houses plus another 31 condos during the month of February.   There are currently 300 active listings in north Seattle that are houses, with 125 of those being added during February – plus 165 active condominiums, with 61 of those added in February.  This is reflecting a fairly strong absorption rate of about 2.5 months supply of housing. 

So, what can you get in north Seattle for your money these days?  Here’s a look at a couple recent listings that are awaiting buyers in the neighborhood.

In Fremont, $439,500 will get you this three bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome on Albion Place N.  It’s 1,868 square feet and fairly new (built in 2007), and features a balcony with a view of Lake Union and Mt Rainier.

Head a little further north to Maple Leaf, and you’ll find this 1,970 square foot house with three bedrooms price at $469,950.

And in Wallingford, this larger four-bedroom home with 2.5 baths is priced at $599,000.  It has 10′ ceilings and a view patio off the master bedroom.