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August 2013

Condo Review - Mosler Lofts in Belltown

Mosler Lofts in Belltown
2720 3rd Avenue, Seattle


Mosler Lofts is located on the quieter end of Belltown.  It's a 12 story condo with 148 homes.  There are mainly open one bedroom homes with exposed concrete walls and metal ducting for an industrial look and feel.  The units have floor to ceiling windows, wood cabinetry, and hardwood floors.  A handful of these homes are 2-story lofts with both exterior and interior entrances. Mosler Lofts was certified as a LEED Silver building, first of its kind for high-rise residential in Seattle, and has also received multiple awards for its green building features and design.

The stats:

  • 148 units
    - 22 studios ranging from 428-712 square feet
    - 119 one bedrooms ranging from 585-1,820 square feet
    - 6 two bedrooms ranging from 1,378-1,561 square feet
    - 1 three bedroom at 1,991 square feet
  • Built in 2007
  • Developer: Schuster Group
  • All have 1 or 2 parking spaces and all have storage
  • 6 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $210,000 to $503,000; at the time of this post 8 units are pending ranging in price from $249,000 to $499,000 and 4 are active ranging in price from $360,000 to $505,000
  • HOA dues include: sewer, garbage, water (including hot water), concierge, earthquake insurance, amenities, master insurance policy
  • Amenities: Concierge staff including facility manager, community roof deck with BBQs, fire pit, and seating areas, a gym, a guest suite, and a conference room/owners lounge

Continue reading "Condo Review - Mosler Lofts in Belltown" »

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:

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

Cristalla in Belltown vs. Enso in South Lake Union - a sales comparison

After looking at the sales data covering the last year for sold condos at Cristalla in Belltown and those at Enso in South Lake Union, we interestingly found that they perform quite similarly. Almost neck and neck.  Often we hear buyers saying they are willing to pay more money for newer construction.  But, are they really putting their money where their mouth is?

In terms of average and median sold prices, Cristalla edged out Enso. However, Cristalla did have a sale of just over $1 million dollars which definitely led them to their edge over Enso in terms of average sales price. However, when looking at the median sales price, Enso came in at $442,500 while Cristalla came in at $455,00. Very close in terms of pricing. Cristalla also had a lower days on market of 45 days to Enso's 47. Not much of a difference there either.

In terms of price per square footage though Enso is selling for $4/sf more than Cristalla which we could likely attribute to the building being newer in age by 4 years and possibly it's South Lake Union location. Enso also sold, on average, at 100% of the list price at,  while they were slightly lower at Cristalla at 98% of their listed asking price. 

Overall, these two higher end buildings are still in demand and are doing well in terms of sales and price points.  What are your thoughts on Belltown vs South Lake Union condo living?

Insignia Seattle Announces Amenities and Finishes

IMG_0850 IMG_1205

Today we received an email update on Insignia Seattle, the new condominium towers being built between 5th and 6th and Bell and Battery, announcing the amenities that will be in the building as well as some of the features within the homes. We also went by the construction site this morning and they are currently working on the 6th and 7th floors of the south tower. The condominium sales center on 6th Ave is also under construction and should open in the fall for pre-sales and opening events.

Here is the information provided to us in Insignia's email~


Forty-first floor sky retreat and resident lounge
Seventh floor open-air park terrace with outdoor grilling area
Outdoor fireplace gathering area
Indoor lap pool and spa*
Steamroom and sauna*
Fitness atrium with yoga and pilates studio
Screening room with entertaining bar
Signature lobby by Mitchell Freedland
Outdoor pet retreat
Pet wash and grooming area
Bike storage with work area
Retail shops along pedestrian friendly street
* Proposed future addition to North Tower


One and two bedroom plans with dens in select residences
360˚ Views of the city, Puget Sound, Lake Union and mountain ranges
Designer interiors by Mitchell Freedland
Quartz kitchen countertops
Bosch stainless steel cooktop, oven and microwave
Bosch cabinet-front dishwasher
Thermador cabinet-front refrigerator
Sleek European-inspired cabinetry
Engineered hardwood floors
Marble or quartz bathroom countertops
Whirlpool washer and dryer
Walk-in closets in most residences
Private balconies or roof decks in most residences
Onsite storage for each residence
Targeted LEED Silver sustainable design

We will update you with more information on pre-sales and other details as soon as they are announced.

Click here
to check out Insignia's webite

Client Question of the Week: Does My Condo Property Tax Value Equal the Market Value of My Condo?

“Marco, I just received my tax rate notice in the mail and it looks like my taxes for my condo in South Lake Union rose by around 12% over the rate of last year.  Does that mean my condo value should also have increased by 12% if I want to sell?    

Dear Mr. My Taxes Are Increasing:

TaxThis is a great question and a common one.  The short answer is no, not necessarily.  But that’s over simplifying it.  In a similar post last year I received a little bit of feedback that my answer was a bit too simplistic so I want to try to expand a bit since this is a common question we get about condo values here in Seattle. 

For background, King County uses the tax assessed value of real estate as a means to fairly collect property taxes.  It’s one way they generate revenue as a county. This is only a tax revenue value and does not directly correlate with what a condo, or a house or even a commercial building’s “market value” might be.  When determining market value, most appraisers, real estate brokers, and lenders do not reference tax assessed value. However, the overall trend should be the same in my opinion.  Meaning that if real estate market values are low or decreasing, than tax assessed value will likely follow that trend.  And on the other end, if real estate market values are increasing, then it makes sense that tax assessed values will also start to increase.  But they will not always increase or decrease at the same rate.

Continue reading "Client Question of the Week: Does My Condo Property Tax Value Equal the Market Value of My Condo?" »