Seattle Lofts Feed

Our New and Improved Seattle Condominium Building Map

Seattle Condo Map (2)Since our blog's inception back in 2006, our Seattle Condo Map has been a place where our readers could go to find information about the various buildings in and around the Downtown Seattle core.

We decided that it was time to revamp SCR's Seattle Condo Map, expanding it to include all buildings in Seattle, to include more detailed information about each building and to create it in a format that allows our readers to search it for information important to them that might not be readily available either online, or within other real estate sites that rely only on information from the MLS.

We are very proud to announce that our new and improved Seattle Condo Map has launched!!!

Our new map contains information about all condominium buildings in the city of Seattle! It is a constant work in progress as condo buildings go through updates, condo buildings become apartment buildings, apartment buildings become condo buildings, new condominium buildings are proposed and new construction buildings are completed. The information contained in our Seattle Condo Map will continue to be updated so please make sure you check back in with the map often. We intend to add links to our Condo Review articles to each building as we review them so our write ups with pros, cons and stats about the building will be available via one click from the map listings. This is something we are actively working on and think will be an amazing resource tool for those looking to buy or sell their condo. 

A couple things to know about our new map:

  • There is a directory of buildings that is organized by area - Downtown Area, Northeast Seattle, Northwest Seattle, Queen Anne & Magnolia, South Seattle, Central Seattle and West Seattle
  • The buildings are also color coded to denote the following categories - luxury, proposed, under construction, historic or co-op
  • You can search the map if you open it up - for example, you can search 'concierge' and see all of the buildings in Seattle with concierge services

Since this map will forever be dynamic, we encourage you, as our readers, to let us know if any buildings are missing or if any of our information is incorrect. We want to do our best to provide the most accurate information we can and we need you all to make that happen!

We hope you find the map interesting and helpful and we hope it is a tool you will bookmark and enjoy using for many years.

Check the map out here! Or from the navigation bar on our website.

Cheers-
Marco and Loren Kronen


Condo Review - Trace North and Trace Lofts in Captiol Hill

Trace North and Trace Lofts in Capitol Hill
1414 12th Ave
and 1408 12th Ave

Trace North 2Trace Lofts 5

Trace North and Trace Lofts are located on 12th Avenue in Capitol Hill, which is the heart of the Pike Pine corridor. Trace North was built new in 2007 and Trace Lofts was converted from an old sewing machine warehouse into loft style condos.  Some of the old warehouse equipment, doors, and plaques are used at art throughout the condo building and bring back some of the charm of yesteryear. The two buildings have very different vibes with North being more modern and the Lofts having an old world vibe with exposed timbers and brick and tall ceilings.

The stats:

  • 142 units – 100 in Trace North and 42 in Trace Lofts
  • There are studio, open 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units
  • Built in 2007
  • Both buildings are 6 stories
  • All have 1 parking space but only some have storage
  • 7 one bedroom units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $320,000 to $373,000; at the time of this post 1 one bedroom unit is pending at a list price of $319,950 and 1 studio is active at a list price of $249,975
  • HOA dues include: garbage, common area maintenance, master insurance policy, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Community roof deck with BBQs and seating areas

Continue reading "Condo Review - Trace North and Trace Lofts in Captiol Hill" »


How Will the New Seattle Tunnel and Removal of the Viaduct Affect Condo Views and Values? Part 3 of 4

In Part 1of this Blog Series we covered how the Seattle waterfront is undergoing an epic change that will forever change the face of the city from the water’s edge.  That change is the replacement of the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep bore tunnel, and the revitalization of the Alaskan Way waterfront. We focused on condominiums near the south portal of the new tunnel in Pioneer Square and then in Part 2  we covered condos in the West Edge and Market District with the likely impacts on them, both good and bad.

The goal of this series is to bring some clarity to what’s going on near our downtown condo buildings and help folks make decisions about where they might want live if they are looking into buying. And for current condo owners in the affected areas, some information to help you decide if staying put and enjoying what’s to come is best, or if you might want to sell and move up to a different condo.  

For part 3 of this series, we continue north along the tunnel route up into the Belltown neighborhood and ending at the location of new north portal, which affects the Denny Triangle and South Lake Union areas as well.  We are adding in video commentaries into this part of series as well and would love your feedback as to if they were helpful.

This post is perfectly timed, as Bertha (the boring machine) just started her official journey and took her first big bite of Seattle soil recently. The tunneling has officially begun!  She will move at roughly 6 feet per day initially.

Map of Belltown and Denny Triangle of Viaduct Affected Bldg

Buildings Most Likely Affected in:
BELLTOWN

Continue reading "How Will the New Seattle Tunnel and Removal of the Viaduct Affect Condo Views and Values? Part 3 of 4 " »


Mosler Lofts Litigation Update

Exterior from NW cornerMosler Lofts in Belltown has reached a settlement with their developer and are now out of the litigation process. 

According to correspondence from the HOA to the owners, a settlement has been reached for just under $8.5 million. The HOA will use those monies to proceed with repairs and to resolve construction defects. As for when the repairs will begin, we are not privy to that and the HOA likely has not put a schedule in place yet as the settlement was reached only late last week.

Hopefully this settlement will allow for more financing options for buyers and those refinancing in the building. It might also bring a windfall of new listings within the building as many owners have likely been waiting for this resolution to allow them to more easily sell.

Recently the 2200 Condo Association, in South Lake Union, also reached a large settlement with their developer.  I'm hoping between these two condo communities we might see some additional options coming on the market shortly to help buyers who are frustrated by the lack of inventory currently in the downtown condo market.

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


Condo Review - Brix Condominiums in Capitol Hill

The Brix in Capitol Hill
530 Broadway E, Seattle
1

Brix is one of the last new construction condos built in Capitol Hill and sits on the north end of Broadway in the heart of the action. The side of the building facing 10th has a more loft feel with 2 story units on the main level and a brick façade. The side facing Broadway has the more typical vibe for a condo building and has main level retail. The units are modern and slightly industrial in feel.

The stats:

  • 142 units
  • 6 stories
  • Built in 2008
  • Open 1 bedrooms, 1 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms
  • Range in size from 499 to 1418 square feet
  • All have 1 or 2 parking spaces and all have a storage unit
  • 1st floor units facing 10th Ave are two level loft style units
  • 4 units have sold in the last year ranging in price from $300,000 to $511,000
  • There are 2 active and 1 pending listing currently on the market at the time of this post
  • HOA dues include: water, sewer, garbage, natural gas for cooktops, central hot water, master insurance policy, earthquake insurance

Continue reading "Condo Review - Brix Condominiums in Capitol Hill" »


How Will the New Seattle Tunnel and Removal of the Viaduct Affect Condo Views and Values? Part 2 of 4

In Part 1of this Blog Series we covered how the Seattle waterfront is undergoing an epic change that will forever change the face of the city from the water’s edge.  That change is the replacement of the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep bore tunnel, and the revitalization of the Alaskan Way waterfront.  Condominiums near the south portal of the new tunnel in Pioneer Square were highlighted along with the likely impact on them, both good and bad.

Hopefully, this series will bring some clarity and help folks make decisions about where they might want live if they are looking into buying. Or if you currently own a Seattle condo in the affected areas, if and when you might want to consider selling and moving up to something different or staying put and enjoying what’s to come.

For part 2 of this series, we move north from the South Portal of Tunnel (Pioneer Square and the Stadium District) up to the West Edge and Market neighborhoods. We felt it was perfect timing, as within the last couple weeks the famed boring machine, named Bertha, arrived at the Seattle Waterfront by way of ship.  She will soon be placed in service to start boring the tunnel beneath our city. Isn’t she massive?
Bertha Courtesy of WSDOTPhoto courtesy of WSDOT

For reference:  The West Edge is considered the neighborhood that borders downtown Seattle’s business district on the west “edge” along 1st Avenue with Pioneer Square to its south, and the Pike Place Market to its north.

First off, both of these neighborhoods will have the new deep bore tunnel running directly beneath them in some areas.  Some condo buildings including One Pacific Tower, in fact, have sold underground easement rights to allow for the tunnel to be bored beneath it.  It remains to be seen if any of the underground work will even be noticeable.  But it might be worth the occasional vibration from construction and Bertha to benefit from the future view outlooks, traffic noise reduction once the viaduct is gone, and access improvements to the waterfront.
Map of Market & Waterfront Viaduct Affected Bldgs.jpg

Buildings Most Likely Affected in:

The West Edge Neighborhood
 

Continue reading "How Will the New Seattle Tunnel and Removal of the Viaduct Affect Condo Views and Values? Part 2 of 4 " »


How Will the New Seattle Tunnel and Removal of the Viaduct Affect Condo Views and Values?

 The Seattle waterfront is undergoing an epic change that will forever change the face of the city from the water’s edge.  That change is the replacement of the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct.  After nearly a decade of debate, deliberation, public comment and vote, as well as even legislative action, the decision was made last year in 2012 to move ahead with the deep bore tunnel option as the replacement method for the two level elevated viaduct that currently runs along the Seattle waterfront.

I am going to do a blog series talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly from the condominium owner and buyer’s perspective with regards to this project.  I’ll hold my opinions until the end of the series, but I want to take you on a photo and map journey through the neighborhoods around the current viaduct that will be most impacted. Hopefully, this series will help bring some clarity and help folks make decisions about where they might want to live if they are looking into buying. Or if you currently own a Seattle condo in the affected areas, if and when you might want to consider selling and moving up to something different, or even staying put and enjoying what is to come.

We will start with where the tunnel is starting and where the viaduct has already partially been removed, which is Pioneer Square and the Stadium District (also called the south portal). This is the area where you see most of the construction going on currently.  What’s happening here?  They have basically temporarily rerouted highway 99 around an area where they are actively digging and constructing the south portal of the tunnel (aka, the Pit). This is where the big boring machine will be starting its dig to the north deep beneath the city.  You can consider this ground zero, where it all starts.

Building Most Likely Affected In:
PIONEER SQUARE & STADIUM DISTRICT
Seattle Condos

Continue reading "How Will the New Seattle Tunnel and Removal of the Viaduct Affect Condo Views and Values?" »


Client Question of the Week: Is the VA Loan Program Available for Condos?

1This week, new clients of mine wondered what their options were for a downtown condo that would qualify for the VA loan program. The Department of Veteran Affairs loan program is available to those military veterans and active duty personnel that have accumulated enough service time to be eligible for the favorable terms afforded by this loan program.  Benefits over conventional loan programs include market interest rates, reduced down payment requirements, no monthly mortgage insurance, as well as more flexibility with debt to income ratios and closing costs.

What’s the catch? Condominium buildings must go through the VA's condo project approval process.  Similar to the FHA approval process, an HOA would need to provide supporting documents verifying the eligibility of the condominium community as a whole.  No longer can an individual condo owner seek VA approval if they are either refinancing or selling their condo.  It's all or nothing.  VA looks at things such as overall financial health of the HOA, percentage of rental units, percentage of units that are delinquent on dues, and level of insurance protection, to name a few.  Currently, very few VA approved condominium buildings exist in the downtown core of Seattle.  Newer condo projects in the Downtown, Belltown, Midtown and South Lake Union area especially, lack this VA approval.  So it can be challenging for those wanting to use the VA loan program to find options in our already low inventory market.

Continue reading "Client Question of the Week: Is the VA Loan Program Available for Condos?" »


19th Avenue Lofts – Capitol Hill

1812_19th_ave_03Recently we have received requests to include other neighborhoods into our Seattle Condo stats and condo reviews that are outside of Downtown, Belltown, and Queen Anne. 

We will start on Capitol Hill this week at the 19th Avenue Lofts.  I think this is a forgotten building because of it’s off the beaten path location on the Hill.  But really, it is still very close and walkable to the 12th Ave District, Pike Pine Corridor as well as shops and eateries on 15th Ave. These cool hip lofts can be ideal if you want to be close to everything Capitol Hill has to offer, but not right in the middle of it. Built in 2004, and having only 45 units, it's also a good draw for those who prefer not to live in huge condo communities but it's large enough to give you plenty of neighbors to get to know and socialize with if that's your thing. The architecture and design are based on industrial spaces and work lofts and feature very minimalist interiors. Most units still have the original polished concrete floors, wood planked ceilings, exposed timbers and open kitchens.

 

Continue reading "19th Avenue Lofts – Capitol Hill" »


FHA Changes Mean Help for Condo Buyers, Sellers and HOAs

2200_westlake_001The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) recently changed several of its outdated and controversial guidelines, which might help those looking to buy or sell a condo.  Rule changes are “temporary” but include things such as increases to the allowance on percentage of commercial space within a condo project, increased flexibility on percentage of delinquent HOA dues, less liability for HOA Board Members who sign off on the FHA application, as well as allowances for increases in the number of units that can be rented at one time or owned by one person in a building. All of these changes have the ability to help condo buildings, condo owners, and of course buyers who are using FHA loans.

A recent article in the Seattle Times summarized some of the key relaxed guidelines the FHA recently announced.   I wanted to share this article with you and go into more detail about how it affects us here in Seattle. If you are a buyer, seller, or HOA board member, and FHA has been a topic of recent discussions, you might want to revisit it. As of September 13th you now have more options so I’d take another look to see if your condo building or one you thought about buying in might now be in a position to get FHA approval.

Continue reading "FHA Changes Mean Help for Condo Buyers, Sellers and HOAs" »