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October 2016

Tentative Deal Reached for Bosa to Buy Civic Square Project and Build Condos

Civic SquareMayor Ed Murray has announced that the city has reached a tentative deal with Bosa Development, the developer of Insignia Condominiums in Belltown, for the long-delayed Civic Square project in Downtown Seattle. According to PSBJ, if the Seattle city council approves the 21.7 million dollar deal, Bosa will begin building a condominium tower on the full block site in 2018. The site is located between 3rd and 4th and Cherry and James.

According to the deal, Bosa will still provide an area for a public plaza but that plaza will be owned and maintained by Bosa. The city hopes to have a decision by early next year on whether the deal will be approved and will move forward.

We will continue to monitor this and hopefully we will see a condo tower coming out of the ground in 2018 in Downtown Seattle.

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

Soaring Appreciation in Seattle with Cheapest Homes Seeing Biggest Increase

Price AppreciationIn this recent article by the Seattle times, they do a great job of highlighting the “soaring” 11.4% pricing increases of homes in the Greater Seattle area, but one key thing we have to keep in mind, which often gets overlooked by generalized statistics,  is that real estate market trends are very local,  and can vary widely from county to county, city to city, and even from neighborhood to neighborhood within the same city.  Seattle’s market is very local.

Within the local market, the appreciation also varies based on various factors. As buyers in the Seattle city market are finding, some of the hottest neighborhoods will still see very limited inventory and often bidding wars for homes, but in the same neighborhood this may not translate to other property types such as ultra-luxury properties, and it may not translate to condominiums or townhomes either. If you run the same year over year comparison within specific neighborhoods breaking it out by subcategories such as different price points or different types of property, you will likely  find varying appreciation rates across those different sub categories. But I feel this is really key and is more important than what the Greater Seattle area real estate market appreciation looks like. What does your local real estate market and it's different segments look like? That is what is important.

Continue reading "Soaring Appreciation in Seattle with Cheapest Homes Seeing Biggest Increase" »

Is Your Condo Ready for the Storm or a Major Disaster?

Big ShakerThis month is Disaster Preparedness Month in Seattle, and with the impending storm bearing down on Seattle, no better time than now to prepare and share some ideas to help you be prepared.

This week the city of Seattle hosted the Shaker Trailer, which is an earthquake simulator.  I took a ride on this thing and it was a simulated 8.0 magnitude jolt which, I’ll tell you, really gets things moving and shaking big time! Here is video of us in the simulator from Komo News.

Getting ready for the “big one” will also have you ready for this weekend’s severe wind and rain, which could potentially knock out power to your condo.

Here are some quick tips that you can do rather quickly to prepare yourself for the weather this weekend, and even for 8.0 earth shaker that might come someday.

Power Outage:

  • Even newer high rise condo buildings with backup generators can still experience power outages, so prepare for that. The generators often are only designed to power the building’s emergency systems, common area lighting, elevators, garage doors, etc.  It might not power your condo unit.  Check with your facility manager to find out what is powered by the generator.
  • Have flashlights and battery powered lanterns along with extra batteries ready.
  • If you use candles, be very careful as fires are a big cause of property damage during power outages due to careless open flames. Blow out the candles before going to bed or leaving the condo.
  • Secure things on your decks or patios, or bring them inside. Flying furniture, umbrellas or BBQ’s can fall over and smash into your unit’s windows and cause damage or worst case, can fall off your deck and really hurt someone.
  • If your fireplace or natural gas cook top in the kitchen use an electric ignitor, you should know how to manually light your appliance in case you need it while the power is out.
  • For those who have electric powered furniture or medical devices such as home oxygen, electric breathing nebulizers, electric recliners or beds, you should find out if you have a battery backup on that device. If not you could be stuck without out important medical interventions, or you could get stuck in your chair or bed if the power goes out while you are in it and it reclined with the feet up.  You can buy batter back-up units that you can plug things into to get you by for a short time if the power is out.

Continue reading "Is Your Condo Ready for the Storm or a Major Disaster?" »

Insignia and LUMA Down to 20 Homes Each - Opportunity to Own New Construction High-Rise Condo Running Out

Luma and InsigniaAccording to an announcement from Insignia condominiums in Belltown, they have fewer than 20 homes available. LUMA indicates that they also have less than 20 homes left. If you were hoping to purchase a new construction condominium in a high-rise building these approximately 40 homes will be your last chance until around 2018, when Nexus condominiums is projected to be completed.

At Insignia, the homes remaining are all two bedroom or two bedroom + den homes. They are located on floors 29 through 40 and there are homes in both towers in this remaining bunch.

Inventory remaining at LUMA starts at $564,950 for one bedroom homes and $779,950 for two bedroom homes. It does appear that there are more one bedrooms available than two bedrooms in this final close out.

Of course, there is also the opportunity to purchase a resale condo at one of these buildings that have also never been lived in, but those opportunities will not be available forever either.

Want to see what inventory is still available at Insignia or LUMA? Ping us.

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