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June 2018

May 2018

The Secrets to Buying Right Now! Really, This is Good Info.

Ppw 11It’s a long and detailed article, but I highly recommend you read the article put out by the Seattle Times earlier this month, How to Buy a Home in the Seattle Area: The Survival Guide.  It includes data collected from lots of interviews with buyers, agents, and industry players and I really think it’s a great read.

Although this isn't condo specific, we feel it is important for our readers who are buyers, and even those who are sellers, to understand what is happening in the market out there and what things buyers should be doing to better their chances of success.

Some of the key points in the article that I loved and can absolutely agree with and endorse:

  • Discount brokerages, such as Redfin, are a 'you get what you pay for' situation. There is a reason they can offer a discount and that discount may not save you any money in the end by the time you factor in how long it took for you to finally get a house.
  • Lenders- pick the right one, and make sure they are local. This is key right now.  As listing agents, we give much higher credibility and weight to pre-approval letters from local lenders who have a good local reputation and who we know can close quick and close on time, without surprise delays.
  • Look for stinkers. Buyers that have flexibility in terms of doing repairs and are open to condos or houses in not perfect condition, can benefit in this market by buying a proeprty with less competition.
  • Make the offer about the seller and what they need.  Not all offers are just about price.  A good agent will research, connect with and find out what’s important to the seller.  Certain offerings such as rent backs, guarantees you are not an investor that will rent the home out, etc. can go a long way to winning in bidding war.  Not all sellers are created equal, and not all offers are either.  Be creative and make sure your agent knows how to communicate with the other agent effectively.
  • Be aggressive and do it early. Don’t take 7 or 8 offer attempts to realize you need to be aggressive. As Mike wrote in the article, “ Home prices in Seattle have increased an average of $226 per day through the past year” so by the time you finish reading this editorial post, and the article itself, that 6-7 minutes is costing you another dollar or two in home price.  My point being, the longer your learning curve is as a buyer, and the more offers you need to write before you get that figured out, the more money it’s costing you. So let’s get you educated, armed for success, and ready to buy.

Great read and great article.  Check it out.


NEXUS Pre-sale Opportunities End 6/30

The NEXUS model home and presentation center will be closing on June 30th and all pre-sale opportunities will stop at the time of the presentation center closure.

If you are considering purchasing at NEXUS now might be the time to do it so you can benefit from the pre-sale price offerings, still select your interior color palette and receive a $25,000 buyer decorator allowance, which they are throwing in from now through June 30th.

At this time, NEXUS is 90% sold and the available options are 2 and 3 bedroom floor plans, ranging in size from 1,022 to 2,142, and priced from $1.2 million to $3.5 million.

Here is the current availability:
NEXUS Availability 5.22.18
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Tower East of Escala Delayed Again- Interview with Developer Giving More Details

1933 5th Ave Rendering 4This story has been updated after a recent email interview with a representative of the developer, Douglaston Development:

According to the PSBJ, a new ruling by Seattle's hearing examiner will further delay construction on the 48 story tower planned just east of Escala Condominiums, where Icon Grill was located, at 5th Avenue and Virginia Street.

The residents of Escala have appealed the construction of the tower as it is currently planned, specifically taking aim at the tower being as close as 22 feet away across the alley, which would devastatingly affect their natural light and privacy. The city's examiner agreed with the Escala residents on that point pushing the issue to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections to research, but ruled in the Developer, Douglaston Development's, favor on almost all of the other issues at the hearing.

Douglaston is now working on what options they have with regards to modifying the tower to address the issues raised by the Escala residents.

According to Douglaston CEO Michael Kaye, “During the design review process, we made major modifications to the design of the project to address the issues raised by Escala.”

Escala residents do have the option to appeal the city examiner's rulings against them to King County's Superior Court but they have not yet decided if they will proceed with any appeals.

It seems as if this ruling will delay the construction but not put a stop to it, so hopefully Escala's concerns can convince the Developer to redesign the new apartment and hotel tower to be set back farther from the alley and Escala preserving as much natural light and privacy as they can.

However, according to the developer speaking on the ruling , they indicate " the remand is actually on the procedural issue – not substantive", according to Kaye. "There is no reference in the remand regarding the distance between the two buildings."

Kaye would like to “reiterate Douglaston’s gratification that the Hearing Examiner ruled in our favor on almost every issue. Escala’s appeal was rejected on 22 out of the 23 claims made. Lastly, we’re committed to the project and we’ll keep working on it until it is built — we will continue to work through the process.” 

It will be interesting to see the outcome here as many condominium buildings in Seattle face this same or similar problem of loosing light and privacy due to a new larger and taller tower being constructed around them.

Updated 5/15/2018 By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.
Rendering courtesy of Perkins+Will


New Towers at 1916 Boren Ave in Denny Triangle

1916 Boren - rendering courtesy of GenslerSoon, at 1916 Boren Ave, a two tower project will rise comprising of a hotel and residential units. The developer, GZI out of China, has not yet revealed if the residential portion of the project will be apartments or condos.

The project, designed by Gensler Architects, will have two towers out of one podium, one tower at 16 stories and one at 48 stories. The podium will have retail on the ground level with 9 levels of hotel above to include approximately 280 hotel rooms. In the smaller tower will rise 6 stories of residential over the hotel and then in the taller tower will be 38 stories of residential over the hotel, to include around 500 units. There will also be two amenity levels, to include a gym and a podium-top roof deck, and underground parking. The taller tower will twist by stepping out from the base over the shorter tower and then stepping back in on the opposite side of the tower at the top, changing the massing as it goes up. This design is intended to compliment the twisting cubes of the NEXUS condominium tower nearby and add interest to the skyline.

At this point, we will have to wait to see whether or not we will have more apartments entering the pipeline or more condominiums for sale with the addition of this new project.

Rendering courtesy of Gensler.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.