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March 2011
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April 2011

Belltown Condos: Belltown Lofts


Belltown Lofts is an interesting 6-story condo tucked in the corner of Bell St and Western Ave. It received a green honor award by AIA, the Built Smart certification from Seattle City Light, and obtained historic landmark status. The condo is comprised of two portions: a renovation of an existing building and an addition. 

The south portion was an old warehouse built in 1914 and was renovated by Driscoll Architects and U-Arc Design. It was completed in 2000. This 3 floor portion houses 25 loft homes. The majority of them are 2 story lofts with exposed brick walls and wood beams. Penthouses come with their own private rooft top deck.

The north portion is a new building that was added during the renovation and has 33 traditional flat units featuring one and two bedroom floor plans. The lobby has a display of art work that resembles an art gallery. The community shares a common rooftop deck and a bamboo courtyard with water fountains. A few of the units on the street level are live/work lofts and have access directly to Western Ave. 

Belltown Lofts' location is a mixed blessing. It's conveniently located close to Pike Place Market and the waterfront but it's also right next to the Alaskan Viaduct Way, creating a little bit of road noise for homes on the east side of the building. The proposed new tunnel going underground should greatly improve curb appeal. The layout of the traditional flats are functional and open with big windows. Loft homes have ceiling heights as high as 20 feet, which is kind of neat. Belltown Lofts is a great one to check out if you're fond of the brick style loft homes, since there are a limited selection for this type of homes in the neighborhood. The biggest drawback for this building is probably the lack of parking spots, only about half of them come with parking :-( 

One bedroom 569 - 726 square feet

Two bedroom 825-831 square feet

2 Story lofts 661-1,781 square feet

Condos near to Belltown Lofts:

Site 17

Would you live in a Pre-Fab Condo?

Geekwire has a cool post about pre-fabricated condos which can take 1/2 the time to construct with the electrical and plumbing already in the walls when they arrive at the job site allowing the units to be put together like a set of Legos. Personally, I'd be a bit worried about water intrusion and factory defects but most great innovations start with leery audiences...

Watch video below for more color.


Gallery Update

Gallery Inventory Close Out

Sales at Gallery are winding down.  The condo is now ~90% sold.  During their 1 day "Buy Now" event (switched from auction event), they sold 8 homes.  Since then, they adjusted their prices by 10-15%.  There are 25 homes left priced between $220,000-$307,000.  There is also a 3% seller's credit for any offer written up by 06/30/11 and closed by 07/30/11.

Related posts:

Gallery Auction Converts to "Buy Now" Event
Gallery Close Out Auction Event
New Release from Brix & Gallery
Brix and Gallery Auction Events
More  Condo Auctions :Brix & Gallery
Seattle Condo Auction Roundup


Downtown Seattle Condos: Continental Place

2387Continental Place is one of the highrise condos built in the early 1980's in Belltown. Perched on the corner of 1st Ave and Blanchard St (2125 1st Ave), this 33-story condo was designed by WJA Design Collaborative, the same architect for Centennial Tower and Court Apartments. There are 3 retail spaces on the street level and 121 homes start from the 7 floor that come with a variety of floor plans and a handful of 2-story townhomes.

5-6 homes per floor from 7-15th level
4-5 homes per floor from 16-25th level
3-4 homes per floor from 26-31st level  
2 homes per floor from 32-33th level

One bedroom
512-932 square feet 

Two bedroom 
1,015-2,587 square feet

Three bedroom
1,459-2,890 square feet

Continental Place may not have the fancier facades that you see in more recent condos but its simple and solid design commands a presence in the neighborhood. The location and amenities are probably its biggest selling points. It's only two blocks away from Pike Place Market and is one of the highly sought after condos if you are looking for a home with spectacular views of the water, mountains, city and Space Needle. Almost all the homes come with a balcony, although the majority of them are small. The building has great amenities including a 24 hour concierge, building manager, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, club room, and a rooftop deck with a nicely landscaped garden. This is a building that has a lot going for it: views, amenities, and location. 

Condos around Continental Place:

One Pacific Tower
Market Place Tower

Seattle Condo Market Update: March 2011

Spring is here and we have already completed our first quarter for 2011. Is the Seattle condo market looking as sunny as today? Well it's looking sunny for buyers and intermittent showers for the sellers.

  • The number of total active listings in March dropped 24.77% from March 2010.
  • The median price for closed homes was $268,000, a decrease of 7.9% from twelve months ago and 14.3% from the previous month. 
  • Year-over-year pending sales were down by 12.73% but a big jump of +41.2% from the preivous month, increasing 165 homes to 233 homes. 
  • We had 147 homes closed last month,  a 33% increase from previous month but still down by ~17% from a year ago.

For those who prefer charts, check it out below.

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Market Update: March 2011" »

Seattle Bank Owned & Short Sale Condo Properties

Last week, I spoke to a client who was looking for a condo but has 3-6 months to move. He was interested in purchasing either a bank owned or short sale property and wondering if he could move within his ideal time line since both type of properties have a reputation for taking longer to close than regular condo due to bank paperwork and bureaucracy.  

In other words, how long would it take to buy a bank owned or short sale condo in Seattle?  I looked up the data on NWMLS yesterday and put together these charts:

Bank owned & Short sales active

Bank owned & Short sales sold listings
(Information from NWMLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed)

Some interesting factoids:

1.) About 1 in 4 current Seattle condo listings are either bank owned or short sales.

2.) About 1 in 3 Seattle recent condo sales are either bank owned or short sales.

3.)  There are more short sales on the market than bank owned properties. For every 2 bank owned condos on the market, they are 3 short sale condos. 

4.) The average days on market for bank owned properties is 123 days and for short sales is 129 days. Regular condos took an average of 148 days and this is due to the high end condos taking longer to sell and increasing the overall average days on market.   

So bank owned and short sales properties are looking more attractive than they used to-- especially now that the time to closing appears to be a lot shorter than a lot of people expect. 

Related posts:

Short Sales, Bank Owned, Foreclosure Condos
HAFA to Ease Short Sale Process

Downtown Seattle Condos: One Pacific Tower


One Pacific Tower is a pretty striking condo built in 1994 and only one block away from Pike Place Market. Unlike most condos that were built parallel to the street, One Pacific Tower was built twisted at an angle, a design carefully thought out by the architect firm, Curtis Beattie & Associates.  The purpose is to optimize as many views as it could get for all their units. Rising at 27 stories, there were orginially 80 homes in this building, however, several units were combined into larger homes, reducing the total to 75 units.

Since all the homes face west or southwest, they are able to get a good view of the Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay and the city through the walls of windows, especially for the 2 and 3 bedroom floor plans.  

The lobby is currently going through some remodeling work, which will be a nice improvement for this building. One thing good about One Pacific Tower is that it has twenty-four hour concierge service.  There are some other nice amenities like an indoor pool, hot tub, and outdoor terrace. There is also a club room, although it's a little dated and the gym is a bit small. Other than that, it's a pleasant building, well maintained, and it's in one of the most desirable locations in Belltown/Downtown. 

7 Studios 452-534
16 One bedroom 419-976
39 Two bedroom 1,523-2,391 (01 floor plan 1,523 sqft.
12 Three bedroom
1 Five bedroom

Condos around One Pacific Tower:

Continental Place 
Escala: Cristalla's biggest competition?
Market Place Tower