Category Archives: Recent Articles & Data

2015 Home Buying Trends in the Seattle area

Newest home buying trends in the Greater Seattle area?
Think smaller, energy efficient, clean lines and outdoor rooms.

#1. Smaller Homes
Mega mansions seem to have gone out of fashion. Buyers favor smaller homes: under 2000 square feet for the younger generations (living in the heart of the city & wanting low maintenance + great walkability) and between 2500 & 3000 square feet for the other age groups such as empty nesters (preferring view properties and quality finishes). According to a survey by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), new home square footage for 2015 is expected to be about 10 percent smaller than in 2010 ranging around 2152 square feet.

#2. Open concept & clean lines
Spacious and flowing floor plans with high ceilings, clean lines and modern crisp kitchens are in. Forget the once-favorite accent wall color and ornated details.

#3. No or few stairs
One-level homes are in great demand with a growing number of buyers wanting few or no stairs. If you are building a multi-story home, think of keeping a space large enough for a future elevator.

#4. Energy efficient & green homes
These are KEY features! The HERS score (Home Energy Rating System) rates home efficiency, the lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. As a matter of fact, new homes are 30 percent more energy efficient than houses built five years ago (according to the Department of Energy).

#5. You said Prefab homes?
Combining these first 4 criteria, Prefab homes are entering a new era and have drastically changed over the past years. More buyers, looking for open concepts, good construction and energy efficiency, resort today to this type of fast yet quality building approach.

#6. Outdoor living space flowing with the interior
Familiar with the concept of exterior rooms? This is it. Outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, covered patios with comfortable furniture, rugs and fun lighting.

#7. Neutral colors with a splash of fun
Palettes of whites and greys are best. I noticed that professional stagers have resurrected the great classic such as the soft greys for wall colors and white trims while bringing a splash of bright colors for furniture accessories (coral, turquoise blue and lime green).

#8. Multi-generational living
This is a very recent trend which consists in pulling family resources together while preserving one’s privacy. The main family welcomes parents or grandparents wanting to be closer and more helpful in their children’s daily lives. This means homes with dual living quarters and the renaissance of the old “mother-in-law” concept with second kitchens and separate entrances.

Think transitional style with clean lines and discreet soft palettes; energy efficient homes with functional layouts & additional separate living quarters all on one level and you will have built, in a nutshell, the portrait of today’s most sought-after home style.

Historic WA Home for Sale

Seldom do we get to cover beautiful, luxurious homes that also have historic significance to our state. The Apker Estate in Des Moines, currently on the market for $4,185,000, is therefore a breath of fresh air.

Let me take you through a brief history of this plot of land.

Gordon Apker says that the first known owner of the home was Captain George Roberts of the Alaska Steamship Company, whose property became a trading site for their passengers and Native Americans. Roberts went on a bit of a building spree on his initial 12 acres of land, where he built his first home, then a barn in 1899, a Chicken Coop in 1903 to house his exotic bird collection (!) and then finally a second home across the street in 1916.

Fast forward several years to Apker buying the property in the early 1970s (side note: you might know Apker as the former assistant at Shakey’s that went on to own and sell the entire franchise in 1989).

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Home of the Week: Luxe Waterfront Living in Normandy Park

If you’ve ever seen a Nancy Meyers film (Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, e.g.) then you know the director, producer and writer is known for creating enviable movie homes. “I put a lot of work into that. I see a house as a lead character,” she told Elle Decor in a 2012 interview.

So when we spied this 6,850-square-foot stunner in Normandy Park we swooned: It looks like it’s straight out of one of Ms. Meyers’ films. The European-inspired waterfront manse is listed for $2,495,000 and has truly spectacular views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, not to mention plenty of outdoor space from which to take in said views.

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