A big thank you to the New York Times to feature one of our waterfront listings earlier this year.
A big thank you to the New York Times to feature one of our waterfront listings earlier this year.
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.
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
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.”
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).
Fever cabin anyone? Have you ever felt the need to explore neighborhoods beyond the Seattle city limits to get a flavor of peace and quiet away from street traffic and nervous drivers? Well, if you haven’t already done so, I would suggest a drive down to Burien and Normandy Park: barely a 25-minute ride from Downtown. Take the 148th exit to Olde Burien, stroll down 152nd street for a delicious bite at the 909 or a tasty home made chocolate at Armoire Chocolat and continue the journey onto Maplewild Avenue. This scenic meandering street with its tall fir trees & striking Puget Sound views, will lead you to beautiful public beach accesses, barking sea lions and the imposing Mount Rainier silhouette as a dramatic backdrop. Welcome to the Three Tree Point. Continue your journey along the water to Normandy Park and its wonderful Cove park and nature trails.
Dreaming of building your new reasonably-priced home (modern or traditional) with the expertise of a high-end builder? Let’s meet! You will have the choice between a Sound view lot with practically no yard maintenance or a one-acre lot with total privacy.
This year again, Windermere Real Estate (as well as other main local real estate companies) will be hosting the traditional waterfront home tour June 11th & June 12th between 1:00pm & 4:00pm. This represents a great opportunity for buyers, considering purchasing a beach home, to sample lake and sound properties.
Belleresidence.com will host five of its exclusive waterfront listings along Puget Sound. Note that some of them are “By Appointment Only” so make sure to call or text us at 206-214-8499 to reserve your time. We are excited to meet you on site!
Here is a little preview of our listings and videos for these homes.
709 Woodmont Beach Dr S, Des Moines, WA, 98198 By Appointment $1,499,000 Video tour
625 S 240th Street, Des Moines, WA, 98198 Open Sunday June 12th 1-4pm $2,250,000 Watch the live video
23115 Marine View Dr. S, Des Moines, WA, 98198 By appointment $2,350,000 Watch the live video
212 S 219th Street, Normandy Park, WA, 98198 By appointment $650,000 Video tour
1228 SW 296th Street, Redondo, WA, 98023 Open June 12th 1-4pm $930,000 Watch the live video
16741 Maplewild Av. SW, Three Tree Point, WA 98166 Open June 11th 1-4pm Although not a true beachfront, this property offers great waterfront qualities. Watch the video
Interacting with many real estate brokers throughout the Greater Seattle-Bellevue area, I have heard so many horror stories from buyers searching for the perfect home: 30 to 40 offers for an average quality property in town, the sales price being escalated up to hundreds of thousands of dollars… buyers, exhausted from extensive home hunts, don’t know where to turn. Interest rates are still historically quite low and everyone looking to find his/her first home or upgrade to a view or waterfront property, is trying to take advantage of still affordable prices.
Recently, I have noticed a new trend among urban buyers moving South, away from Seattle city limits. West Seattle being highly congested, they are pushing their original boundaries to the Burien, Normandy Park and Federal Way areas as they are realizing that they can purchase large homes, stunning views and even beach properties at discounted prices with less competition.
When I search and compare local markets within the city, I am just amazed by how much farther, a below million dollar budget will go if one is willing to live 20 to 40 minutes away from the metropolitan areas. I discovered this well-kept secret that is the greater Burien area about 12 years ago while searching for a non-congested-affordable little corner of paradise. With the Thomas Guide on the lap, I remember getting lost in the city of Normandy Park, loving its name, its large lots, mature trees, spectacular water and mountain views and its friendly feel (dog walkers, pedestrians… were actually smiling or even waiving at me). I knew right then that this was home! I have since then sold homes in the Three Tree Point/Normandy Park communities and tried to make buyers aware of the treasure area that can be the South End.
Here is a taste of what you can buy in the lovely Three Tree Point & Normandy Park communities. Check out these videos.
DES MOINES, WASH.
WHAT: A waterfront house with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms
HOW MUCH: $1,725,000
SIZE: 2,730 square feet
PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT: $632
SETTING: Des Moines is a city on the eastern shore of Puget Sound, midway between Seattle and Tacoma and within a half-hour drive of both. This 1918 house is on the water in a gated community on and around Woodmont Beach. According to the listing agent, it is thought to have originally been a structure associated with a now-vanished pier. Most of the other houses in the community are summer cabins built in the 1950s and ’60s. In addition to waterfront parks, the city maintains several fishing piers, a boardwalk and a marina near the small downtown.
INDOORS: The two-story house was updated within the past year. Common areas are on a long, open floor plan. The living area has a white brick fireplace and a wall of picture windows facing west, with views of the sound, islands and the Olympic Mountains. The ceilings are coffered. Floors are light-colored hardwood. French doors at one end of the room open to a waterfront deck.
A limestone breakfast bar separates the dining area from the kitchen, which has stainless-steel appliances and minimalist white cabinetry. Three bedrooms are on the first floor, two with en-suite bathrooms. Behind stairs leading to the master suite, there’s an office, also with westerly views. The master suite measures about 800 square feet, with a pitched ceiling and waterside balcony. Its bathroom has a jetted tub, as well as a shower partially enclosed by glass brick. All bathrooms are finished in either limestone or granite.
OUTDOOR SPACE: The lot is just over a third of an acre, with a yard sloping down to 120 feet of beachfront and a boat ramp.
TAXES: $20,559 a year
CONTACT: Véronique Hval and Jan Fairchild, Windermere Real Estate South, (206) 214-8499 / (206) 226-7610; belleresidence.com