Tag Archives: Phinney Ridge


I’m frustrated. Other real estate brokers are frustrated. A lot of homebuyers are frustrated.  In some parts of Seattle, making a full priced offer on a home just doesn’t get you anywhere anymore.

Let me give you a backstory: I have clients that are looking for a new home in north Seattle.  They’re open to a lot of different neighborhoods, but they have wants and needs just like everyone else so over the past two months of house hunting they’ve found only four or five homes they like enough to actually pursue.  And out of those four or five, they’ve so far put offers in on three of them, and lost out every time.

The first home they put an offer in on was listed at $650,000.  They didn’t get it – but whoever did paid $760,000 for it – $110,000 more than list price.

The most recent home they put an offer in on went the same way – it was listed at $650,000, and it sold to someone in the range of $760,000 + (it’s still pending).

From the time I started house hunting with these particular clients, to this past week of facing another rejection, I have felt like it’s gotten worse.  So I checked the stats – and yep, it’s gotten worse.

I took some of the most popular neighborhoods – Ballard, Green Lake, Fremont, Wallingford, and Phinney Ridge – and to narrow my stats down, I took a popular price point right now – homes between $600,000 and $800,000.   Looking back at those homes that closed in the month of January, the average sale price was 101.8% of list price – so if a house was listed for $700,000, for instance, on average it sold at $712,600.

In February, the average sale price was 102.5% of list price – or $717,500 on that hypothetical $700,000 house.  In March it crept up just a little more to 102.6% – $718,200.

Then came April.  In the month of April, the average sale price in that range and in those neighborhoods was 105.3% of list price – that means that $700,000 house is now costing on average $737,100.   And a scary thought here – the biggest percentage difference during April between list price and sale price was 123.3% – that would have made a $700,000 house $863,100.  OUCH.

I very much wish I had a point here, but I think instead this post is meant more to vent everyone’s joint frustration on the matter.   What’s my advice?  Persevere, buyers.  Don’t pay more for a home than what you value it at.  Consider how long you intend to live there.  Know that you’re not alone. Because hell, if you were alone, you wouldn’t be paying so much.

Keep on truckin’.  And punch a pillow, instead of a wall.


This Weekend: PNA Winter Beer Taste

This Saturday is my favorite beer festival of the year: the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Winter Beer Taste.  As a sort of “kick-off” to winter beer season, the event features 30 local breweries pouring both the classics, and their newest winter concoctions.

The event starts at 7pm on Saturday, November 9th, and costs $35 for non-PNA members ($25 for members).   It’s held at the Phinney Center, at 6532 Phinney Ave N.   For $60, you can head in early for a sneak preview tasting and beat the crowds.

Some recommendations to look out for?  Big Al’s Nutwarmer (which is usually gone halfway through the night), Naked City’s Wild Cherry Barrel Aged Sour, and a cider this year from the new Seattle Cider Company.

More info and tickets here: http://www.phinneycenter.org/beer/

Pig out in Phinney Ridge today – for a cause

Do not make dinner at home tonight.  Grab the spouse, or the kids, or just yourself, and head out to eat at one of 30 Phinney-Greenwood area places today, October 9th, to benefit the PNA’s Hot Meal Program.

It’s the annual Phabulous PhinneyWood Pig Out – the one day of the year when local restaurants donate a portion of their sales to this program.  You don’t have to wait until dinner, either – there’s places to stop for lunch, or coffee, or happy hour drinks – view the full list of participating businesses here.

The Hot Meal program, produced by the Phinney Neighborhood Association and led by volunteers, provides two cooked dinners and one lunch each week to those in need.  Everyone is welcome, and with the seasons changing this is a particularly important time of year for the service.

So, eat out so that others can continue to get a nutritious meal when they need it!

Seattle Beer Week: Your North Seattle Picks

Seattle Beer Week is soon to be upon us again.  The fifth year running, this year’s Beer Week falls on May 9th through the 19th and as usual, is sure to include something for everyone.  Although I do like to expand my horizons out of the neighborhood a little for this one, here are my North Seattle event picks!

  • On May 10th, head to Brouwers in Fremont for the Underberg Back in Black Stout Fest – 40+ stouts on tap.  Event runs all day
  • On May 11th, it’s time to head to Hale’s Ales for Brewgrass – a collaboration of beer & music with 10 local breweries and 3 bands, benefiting NW Harvest.  Starts at 5pm and you can buy your tickets here.
  • On May 12th, it’s Mother’s Day. So treat your mother to one of her favorite movies – Psycho.  DJ Nicfit plays this film at Naked City’s screening room to a live soundtrack, and I can say from experience it’s amazing.  Starts at 8pm in Greenwood.
  • May 13th, check out the Sierra Nevada dinner at the Burgundian in Tangletown.   5 beers paired with 5 dishes (exact beers & dishes tbd).  This starts at 6pm.
  • On May 14th, check out Beer & Burger Battle back at Brouwer’s in Fremont.  It runs all day long, and pits six brewers against each other to design the best burger.
  • On May 15th, don’t miss the annual Latona Pub Cask Fest in Green Lake.  A huge selection of cask beers, starting at 6pm.
  • On May 16th, try out pFriem Family Brewing at Art of the Table in Wallingford.  Everyone is buzzing about this brewery, and the restaurant is pairing up 7 courses to match.  The reception starts at 6:30, dinner served at 7.  Call the restaurant at (206) 282-0942 for a reservation.  Dinner is $95/person + tax/tip.
  • After taking a few nights off to repair your liver, celebrate the last day of Beer Week with The Dray in Phinney Ridge.  The Dray has a celebration of its own that day – their 5th Birthday!  There will be special brews from Firestone Walker, and tacos from The Yard.

Make sure you don’t miss one or two other events in the rest of the city either, as there’s plenty to do!  You can check out the full schedule here. 

Food Truck Roundup to benefit U-District Food Bank – May 19th

You’ll want to mark your calendar for this one – May 19th, from 3-7 pm, the Phinney Neighborhood Center will become home to a wealth of local food trucks along with local beverage  providers and live music.

It’s all to benefit the University District Food Bank, which provides groceries to over 1100 families each week.    But unlike the U-District Food Bank fundraisers we usually see throughout the year, this one isn’t going directly to the food – it’s going towards the building.  Currently, the food bank operates out of an 800-sq ft facility.  This event, called “Fight Hunger, Build Hope” is the kick-off to raise $2.75M for a new, larger facility that can accommodate all the customers it serves.

The event itself will cost $25 for entry, and that gets you eight tastes from food trucks plus four drink sips from local distillers and brewers (this is a 21 & over event).   There will also be live entertainment throughout the afternoon.

You can purchase tickets here for either $25, or make a $125 donation to also receive a community cookbook with recipes from many of our favorite food trucks.


Two north Seattle Winter Beer Festivals – get your tickets now

The holiday season quickly approaches, and while the kiddos dream of sugarplums (what the heck is a sugarplum, anyway?) I’m dreaming of something else – the winter beer releases from all our great local breweries.  Thankfully, there are some incredible local events that bring those brews to the masses, coming soon in north Seattle.  There’s two that I just don’t miss, and tickets are on sale now for both.

First up, the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Winter Beer Taste.  When I tell people about this HUGE event, they look at me like I’m crazy.  Phinney Ridge is a pretty small neighborhood, but this Beer Taste packs a big punch.  In fact, it fills up three stories of the Phinney Center with over 25 craft breweries, each serving two or three different tastes each.  This year is extra special, as it’s the 25th year running.  The PNA also holds a terrific silent auction during the evening with some great prizes.

A crowd packs one of the rooms at the PNA Winter Beer Taste 2011

Details: PNA Winter Beer Taste falls this year on Saturday, November 10th from 7pm to 10pm.  Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for non-members, and $10 for designated drivers.  The Phinney Neighborhood Center is located at 6532 Phinney Avenue North. Tickets can be purchased here.

After a few weeks of recovery from that, the Washington Beer Commission presents Winter Beer Fest, held this year on December 7th from 5pm to 9pm, and December 8th from 12pm to 9pm.   Held each year at Hale’s Palladium, the Winter Beer Fest packs the room with almost every local brewery, along with food options from Hale’s Pub next door, chocolate from Theo Chocolate, and oysters from Taylor Shellfish.

“Big Daddy” Don Spencer and Kurt Larson from Silver City Brewery get in the holiday spirit pouring Winter Bock and Old Scrooge Ale at 2011’s Beer Tastes.

Details: Hale’s Palladium is located at 4301 Leary Way NW.  Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and designated driver admission is $5 (at the door only).  WABL members received an additional two tasting tokens with their entry.  Tickets for this one are available here.

Be Phabulous at the Phinneywood Pig-Out

Ready to eat some more food for the greater good? (I know, crazy question).  Well, exercise that tummy in preparedness for the Phabulous PhinneyWood Pig Out, coming Thursday, October 11th to the neighborhood.  By eating at one of our fine Phinney-Greenwood establishments, each of the participating businesses will donate a portion of proceeds for the night to the PNA Hot Meal Program.

The Hot Meal Program serves between 250 and 300 meals to the homeless and elderly each week, by providing Monday night dinners in Ballard and Tuesday night dinners plus Wednesday lunches in Phinney Ridge.

Participating restaurants that will be dishing up for the Pig Out include Oliver’s Twist, The Stumbling Goat Bistro, El Chupacabra, Barking Dog Alehouse, Wingdome, Naked City Brewery & Taphouse and a whole host of others.  Metropolis, the card and stationery store at 7321 Greenwood Ave North, is providing balloons to each business to mark the occasion and alert passers-by to the event.  For the complete list of participating restaurants, click here.