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SeattleHome.com

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Managing Broker, Realtor (15 years experience)

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Dunes Tavern & Conspiracy Center

Response

I thought this was Dunes' Tavern.  It's becoming the hall of grievances.  I'll check back in when it's happy hour again.

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Dunes Tavern & Conspiracy Center

Response

I thought this was Dunes' Tavern.  It's becoming the hall of grievances.  I'll check back in when it's happy hour again.

  (0)
Forbes: Mercer Island is #2 U.S. City to Live and Learn

Forbes and Greatschools.org combined to study the best cities in the U.S. for educational and lifestyle qualities.  Based on school rankings, test scores, and availability of recreation activities, Mercer Island came in at the number 2 position.While many of the cities in the rankings had much lower median home prices, Mercer Island's $700k median was second only to Manhattan Beach, CA ($1.3 million).  Mercer Island real estate is certainly more expensive than many areas of Greater Seattle, but the locals know that they're paying for a high-quality lifestyle and superb educational opportunities.  Specifically cited in the story were Mercer Island students' outstanding SAT scores and extra-curricular activities including music, tennis, swimming, and water polo.  The island's 40 miles of trails and 400 acres of parks and open space make up a large portion of the 10-square mile island's environment.Top 10 cities to live and learn

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Jumbo Mortgage Limits Backed by Fannie, Freddie To Drop Oct 1

Buyers of luxury and waterfront real estate should be aware of the upcoming changes in the government-sponsored jumbo mortgage limits.  On October 1st, the current jumbo limit of $729,750 will be reduced to $625,500 in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's attempt to scale back some liability.  The issue for buyers is that retail lenders will not be able to resell these larger loans to FHMC and FNMA any longer.  They'll either have to portfolio these loans in-house, or find another private source to sell them to on the secondary market.  This will very likely result in higher loan costs and rates to the borrowers.Although this only affects a small portion of the market, it's significant for a buyer of a $1 million property.  Their down-payment requirements for a gov-backed loan like this would now go from $270k to $375k, a substantial difference.  If they don't have that extra down-payment cash, they'll be forced to find a private lender.There are a good number of buyers in this price range that pay cash for their homes, but it will be interesting to see if those in the financed-transaction category make a big push this summer. 

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Lake Washington Waterfront Real Estate Under $1 Million

One of the interesting side notes of the decreased Seattle-area real estate prices in recent years is the availability of some luxury real estate at prices that were unthinkable in the not-too-distant past.  Lake Washington waterfront homes are some of the most-coveted properties in the Puget Sound region, and a few years ago were virtually all multi-million dollar purchases.Today, there are 10 homes for sale under $1 million on Lake Washington's shoreline, and a few significantly under that mark.The least-expensive waterfront homes usually reside on the Northern and Southern ends of Lake Washington, and these current listings fit that mold.  Cedar Park and Matthews Beach on the lake's Northwestern shore have five waterfront homes under $1 million, Seward Park and Rainier Beach in the Southwest have three homes, Kennydale in the Southeast has one, and Holmes Point in the Northeast has one.Address Prices Beds Baths SqFt14350 Edgewater Lane NE Seattle $699,000 1 1.3 1,27111523 HOLMES POINT Dr NE Kirkland $725,000 4 2 2,4603401 Lake Washington Blvd N Renton $829,000 1 1 9208454 Island Dr S Seattle $849,500 3 2 1,67012562 Riviera Place NE Seattle $865,000 5 2.5 2,4909640 Rainier Ave S Seattle $895,000 3 2.5 2,91010652 Riviera Place NE Seattle $939,000 3 1.8 2,00014730 Edgewater Lane NE Seattle $995,000 3 2.5 2,1801116 Lakeside Ave S Seattle $995,000 2 1 1,94014528 Edgewater Lane NE Lake Forest Park $999,900 2 2.8 1,770

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Current Waterfront Seattle Real Estate Inventory

The greater Seattle waterfront real estate market has started seeing quite a few more listings as the Spring rush is on.  Considering sales are up 15%, waterfront sellers and buyers are probably making the calculation that the market has finally improved enough to test the waters again.There are currently about 200 waterfront homes for sale near Seattle.  For King County as a whole, there are nearly 300 homes, and adding Pierce and Snohomish counties brings the total to 617 waterfront homes for sale.  While those numbers sound large, waterfront homes usually only make up 2%-4% of the total inventory of real estate for sale.Current inventory (includes lakefront, Puget Sound, canal, and Bay waterfront):Seattle:  63 waterfront homesBellevue (including Medina, Yarrow Point, Hunts Point, and Beaux Arts):  39 waterfront homesKirkland:  22 waterfront homesMercer Island:  22 waterfront homesRenton, Kennydale:  12 waterfront homesLake Forest Park:  1 waterfront homeKenmore:  6 waterfront homesSammamish:  20 waterfront homesIssaquah:  6 waterfront homesRedmond:  8 waterfront homes

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WSJ Discussion: Sales Climb, Prices Slip, Waterfront Sales Up

I had a chance to speak again this week with Mitra Kalita at the Wall Street Journal about the Spring real estate market, and they're seeing a wide variety of changes in the market.  While sales are up across the board, prices still seem to be slipping in many areas of the country.  That being said, the increase in sales volume is a welcome change, especially in the luxury and waterfront category.  We talked specifically about the 15% increase in waterfront real estate sales in Seattle and the Eastside to start the year, and how cash buyers and relatively low prices have really been moving the luxury category forward.Increased sales are needed to form a pricing base and settle the market into a flat pricing period.  We're headed that direction in waterfront home sales and the general market at the moment.WSJ Article - Sales up, prices slip, waterfront sales up

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