Fairy Tale French Estate Perched Above Puget Sound

 

If you have ever wandered through France and its Loire Valley countryside with its deep forests, laughing streams, charming historic villages and spectacular castles, this estate will remind you of these cherished peregrinations or simply make you dream.

Built above Puget Sound with endless views of the shimmering water, the Olympics snowy summits and the wild islands across the channel, this 1937 fairy tale estate will transport you in a different time and place.

Open the wrought-iron lion gate, follow the tree lined-driveway along lush gardens, espalier apple trees and discover this delightful manor surrounded by stone patios, fountains, courtyards & arbors.

Inside a feeling of warmth and refinement allied to modern comforts: venetian chandeliers, stately marble & stone fireplaces, curved railing & Provencal kitchen. The sunken living room soothes of elegance with its historic flavor. Four priceless oil murals speak of shepherds and pastures transporting you into the 18th Century Europe.

From every room, doorway and window, catch a glimpse of the incredible outside world and its natural beauty. Come visit this spectacular estate that will take your breath away only a short distance from Downtown Seattle, WA. $2,650,000.

Take a peak with this video.    Visit the detailed listing & photo gallery.

Timeless Waterfront Beauty for sale

Within a mere 35-minute-drive to Downtown Seattle, rests this incredible 1.2 acre gated estate perched above Puget Sound: a graceful 6300 square foot home with endless views where time seems to stand still. As the wrought-iron gate opens and the property reveals itself, one cannot help but fall under the spell. Built in 1929, the main house offers generously-sized rooms including an expansive living room; perfect Vintage details such as luxurious mahogany millwork, crystal chandeliers, original glass door knobs, period tile work, coved ceilings; beautiful hardwood floors (well-protected under the plush carpeting) and walls of picture windows/doors to capture incandescent sunsets & wild storms.

Each of the four master en-suites has its very own flavor and scheme giving a dramatic yet fun dimension to the home “the blue velvet master”, “the vibrant pink room”, “the soothing white guest bedroom” and “the hip orange-golden room”. The lower level represents THE quintessence of entertaining between the built-in bar & its kitchenette, the game room, the workshop and the gigantic rec room open to the brick patio, heated pool & cabana.

An easy walk down to the private 180′ beach. Explore the grounds, pick apples, plums and berries from the orchard, take tea under the gazebo, breath in the salty air from Puget Sound, watch bald eagles fish right before your eyes… in a word experience the best of the Great Northwest in this bit of hidden paradise!

Watch the video.  Click here to see the photo gallery and detailed listing.

2017 REAL ESTATE PREDICTIONS

Each year I take time to review what has happened during the year and to look forward to predict what is in store for real estate. Below are my predictions for the 2017 real estate market, based on data that was available at the time this was written:

Median Sold Prices – Home prices will continue to increase nationally by single digit numbers, about 5%. However, urban metro areas with high employment or that are in high demand by Millennials may still see increases at 10% or above. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, October’s national median price for existing single family homes was $232,200, which represented a 6.0% increase over October of 2015 (which was the 56th consecutive month of year over year gains). National inventory shortages coupled with high demand will continue in 2017.

Housing Inventory –  Although there are improvements in this category, it will take more than just a year for the situation to turn around. Our inventory shortage was caused by a shortage of housing starts that began during the recession. We will continue to see inventory challenges until new construction picks up even further. I predict that more buyers will be entering the market for a home as our economy is strong with low unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate stands at 4.6% for November, 2016, which is the lowest it has been since August of 2007. High demand and low new construction means a continued inventory crunch.

Housing Starts – Housing starts (the measure of homes that began construction) jumped from 900,000 in 2015 to 1.3 million in 2016. Although this is a welcome increase, it is still not enough to quench the demand. Our country needs about 1.5 million new starts per year to maintain inventory, but since 2009, we have been short a cumulative 5 million units. This is one of the primary causes of our inventory shortage and what is driving prices up – demand outweighs supply. In 2017, I predict that builders will finally surpass the 1.5 million start target and our inventory shortage will begin to wane by mid-2018.

Second Home Markets – Investment and vacation homes markets will continue to be strong in 2017. The passing of wealth from the Silent Generation (1925-1945) to the Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964) is a strong driver of vacation home purchases. Investment properties are a hot commodity, especially in urban areas where rents are skyrocketing due to a shortage of housing.

Interest rates – The improving economy and almost full national employment is a sure sign that interest rates will continue to increase in 2017. The new rates will balance job growth and higher inflation rates. The Federal Reserve increased interest rates a quarter of a percentage point at its December meeting. The federal fund rate has a significant effect on mortgage rates. I expect the 30 year fixed rate mortgage rate will reach 4.75% by the end of 2017.

Iconic Historical Mid Century Modern for sale – Seattle area

Once in a while, one is lucky to come across a property where one can feel history vibrating through walls and floating in the air. The Sorensen’s estate is one of them. Located North of Three Tree Point, a quaint waterfront community a mere half hour drive to Downtown Seattle, the property fills visitors with a feeling of respect and contemplation as soon as they come down the wooded lane leading to the home; a tall and mysterious Mid Century building surrounded by giant fir trees, mature rhododendron & azalea borders.

The property, once a 42 acre estate belonging to the Duffy-Blethen family (founders of the Seattle Times), was used as a Summer place until 1955 when  the current home was built becoming their main residence. At that time, the grounds were known as Kewn (a Gaelic word meaning “a still place in the forest where flowers bloom”). The gardens would open to the public and the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross. The beautifully designed gardens by Fred Cole, world-known for his renowned Butchart Gardens, were, at the time, maintained by 7 full-time gardeners until the 1960s.

The home was built on a promontory to take advantage of the spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Range and the neighboring islands. To give the family maximum privacy during the Summer months when the gardens were open, the window areas facing the entrance driveway were limited and doorways carefully recessed. Large glassed panels, on the other hand, were used on the West and South faces of the house, adding to the already spacious proportions of the living areas. Among the highlights of this spectacular home: a circular dining room, a stunning green rock fireplace, clear cedar paneling & colossal custom made chandeliers.

The current owners have enhanced the home without altering its Mid Century Modern spirit and by updating systems, uncovering beautiful hardwood floors under the original shaggy wall-to-wall carpeting, refreshing wall colors…  A tasteful facelift that took passion and time. Watch the video of the current property. Here is the detailed listing information. Welcome to this beautiful and inspiring property, true time capsule of a past era yet so relevant today.

Home Listing Tips for the Holidays

If you have your home on the market right now, you may be wondering what you should do about decorating your home for the holidays. In my experience, a modestly-decorated home feels fresh and cozy, so don’t be afraid to break out the garland and garnish!

Here are my five tips for holiday decorating when your home is on the market:

1. Avoid adding clutter. Your home may be staged and de-cluttered before introducing holiday décor, so don’t just add décor without removing some of the items already in the room. As you are adding décor items to a room, keep focal points in mind. If you add a focal point with décor, make sure you remove something that was already a focal point. For example, if you have a dining room table scape with a runner, two candlesticks and a centerpiece, don’t just add a poinsettia to the table without removing the other centerpiece.

2. Consider a smaller tree if a larger one will make a room feel cramped. Since a seven foot tall tree can take up 20 square feet at the base or more depending on the type of tree, you may be better off either opting for a tree with a thinner base or a shorter tree put on a small coffee table or sofa table-height table.

3. If you put holiday lights on your house, make sure they are the same type and color. If they twinkle, make sure it is in a harmonious way. Having whole sections of your house blinking on or off at once while other sections are marching to the beat of their own drummer can be distracting to potential home buyers. You want the whole house to be what the buyer is focusing on, not the lighting show.

4. If baking is part of your holiday traditions, by all means, put on the oven mitts. It goes without saying that you should do a good job of cleaning up afterwards. I also suggest having a good storage plan in mind if you usually stage extra goodies on the counters. Find additional storage in the cabinets or pantry for those holiday treats to avoid clutter.

5. Beware of lit candles. If you have a last-minute showing and need to leave the house in a hurry, be prepared to blow out all the candles before you do. I recommend having someone in charge of this activity and having a reminder by the door to check all candles before walking out.

Also please remember that many people are sensitive to strong smells from potpourri and candles, so please use sparingly. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call at (206) 214-8499 or send an email to Veronique@belleresidence.com

After this historical election, what should we expect in the real estate world?

In this new climate of uncertainty, I found an interesting message from Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere Real Estate, about the future of our real estate market and economy following this historical presidential election.  “The Trump effect: How will it impact the US economy and housing?

“The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States(…)

The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not been overly affected by the long-term loss in US manufacturing or stagnant wage growth of the past decade. But the votes are in and a new era is ahead of us. So, what does this mean for the housing market?

First and foremost I would say that we should all take a deep breath. In a similar fashion to the UK’s “Brexit”, there will be a “whiplash” effect, as was seen in overnight trading across the globe. However, at least in the US, equity markets have calmed as they start to take a closer look at what a Trump presidency will mean.

On a macro level, I would start by stating that political rhetoric and hyperbole do not necessarily translate into policy. That is the most important message that I want to get across. I consider it highly unlikely that many of the statements regarding trade protectionism will actually go into effect. It will be very important for President Trump to tone down his platform on renegotiating trade agreements and imposing tariffs on China. I also deem it highly unlikely that a 1,000-mile wall will actually get built.

It is crucial that some of the more inflammatory statements that President-Elect Trump has made be toned down or markets will react negatively. However, what is of greater concern to me is that neither candidate really approached questions regarding housing with any granularity. There was little-to-no-discussion regarding housing finance reform, so I will be watching this topic very closely over the coming months.

As far as the housing market is concerned, it is really too early to make any definitive comment. That said, Trump ran on a platform of deregulation and this could actually bode well for real estate. It might allow banks the freedom to lend more, which in turn, could further energize the market as more buyers may qualify for home loans.

Concerns over rising interest rates may also be overstated. As history tells us, during times of uncertainty we tend to put more money into bonds. If this holds true, then we may see a longer-than-expected period of below-average rates. Today’s uptick in bond yields is likely just temporary.

Proposed infrastructure spending could boost employment and wages, which again, would be a positive for housing markets. Furthermore, easing land use regulations has the potential to begin addressing the problem of housing affordability across many of our nation’s housing markets – specifically on the West Coast.

Economies do not like uncertainty. In the near-term we may see a temporary lull in the US economy, as well as the housing market, as we analyze what a Trump presidency really means. But at the present time, I do not see any substantive cause for panic in the housing sector.

We are a resilient nation, and as long as we continue to have checks-and balances, I have confidence that we will endure any period of uncertainty and come out stronger.”

 

Angle Lake

Welcome to Angle Lake, an active waterfront community proud of its clean water, beautiful sandy beaches and convenient location close to SeaTac international airport and a short ride to Downtown Seattle. A brand new extension to the Light Rail was added on 200th for easy commuting. In the Summer, people come to fish on the pier (catching rainbow trout, bass and perch) and swim, dive or paddle board (as the water gets warm).

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