Ballard condos 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.

Marco and Loren Kronen

Sales Update on New Construction & Pre-sale Condos

Here is a quick update on how sales are going at our new construction condo buildings around town.

Updated Sales in New Construction Condos

There are still many opportunities to snag a unit at Luma and move in this summer. Insignia is getting more and more limited and has no 1 bedrooms left and only 2 units available under $800,000. At Vik, with only 4 condos left, you have very little to choose from but there are 1 and 2 bedroom units among the 4 left. For the condos that are taking reservations still, Gridiron and Hendon, you have both options and time on those. However, at Hendon (formally Hyde) the top floor units with views and large deck/patio spaces are all reserved already, as we suspected.

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

New Construction & Pre-Sale Condo Update

Mark Co Trend Report Dec 2015In light of our recent blog post about Developer InHaus calling it quits on Solo Lofts condo project in Ballard along with a recent report that a Canadian developer might go with condos on their new proposed 1,200 unit project in South Lake Union, I thought it might be a good time to pause and review the presale condo market. In specific, I want to examine the options that exist for new construction and the performance of those projects as they compare to the resale inventory downtown. I love to share stats and numbers and often I like to share other people’s numbers as well so that you don’t always hear the same thing from me. A different perspective is helpful, I feel.

According to the December Trend Sheet report from the Mark Company, the sales and marketing firm representing Insignia Condos, reflecting on the Downtown Seattle Market for new construction, it appears their Condominium Pricing Index for new construction is showing the index up 17% over last year at $835/sq ft. Additionally, of the 4 actively selling new construction developments in the downtown area, there are 348 new construction units available at this time. While this may sound like a lot, it only represents 34% of the total unit count of 1,009 condo units either built or under construction downtown in these four projects. That means 66% of the new construction inventory is already spoken for downtown Seattle.

Continue reading "New Construction & Pre-Sale Condo Update" »

Update: Seattle New Construction Condo Comparison

Back in April, we created a chart comparing the new construction condo options here in the city so you could see what options were out there for newly built condos. Many things have changed since then, including Solo Lofts and Salt turning into apartments and the addition of two new buildings, Hendon in Phinney Ridge and Gridiron in Pioneer Square. We have updated the chart and wanted to share that with our readers.

Hopefully this updated chart helps you to compare the options for pre-sale and new construction condos in terms of the price points, amenities as well and some pros and cons of each project as well. Other projects are in the works, but these are the buildings that have officially announced sales and gone public with the details about their projects.

Just like in the previous version of the comparison chart, information will change as the condo projects progress but here is a snippet of the current overview. To see the whole chart, download it here: Download Seattle New Construction Condo Compare.

Snippet of Condo Compare
We hope this helps you narrow down your top options. As always, our team is here to help with your buying decision if needed.

This information is offered as a convenience & is not a warranty or guarantee. All information should be verified to your satisfaction.

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

Solo Lofts Cancelling Pre-sale Contracts - another one bites the dust, sadly

Solo LoftsAccording to another Broker in our office, whose clients were in contract on a pre-sale unit, Solo Lofts in Ballard is cancelling all of their pre-sale contracts and will return all earnest deposits to the buyers due to unforeseen delays and a dispute with their contractors. This news comes just before the project was slated to be completed.

Our guess is that, just like their condominium project Salt in Ballard did earlier this year, this project will turn into an apartment building. 

This news is particularly unfortunate for those buyers who have been in pre-sale contracts since early 2014 as they have left the equity that has been building since then, on the table.

Also evidenced by this news, is that the costs of constructing a condominium building still seem to be so high that making the projects pencil is proving difficult for some developers.

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

Condo Review - Hjarta

Hjarta Condominiums in Ballard
1530 NW Market St

1530_nw_market_st_01 1530_nw_market_st_02

Pronounced (h-YARta) this condo building was named by the developer after the Scandinavian (old Norse) word for heart.  Maybe because it’s in the heart of Ballard!  Built in 2008, Hjarta was one of the Seattle’s first LEED Silver certified condo projects and offers energy efficient building systems.  Located on Market Street, it is very close to the activities and vibrancy of the hip and growing part of Seattle.

The stats:

  • 79 units –one and two bedrooms (and 1 three bedroom) ranging in size from 685 to 1,909 square feet
  • Built in 2008
  • 8 stories
  • All units have at least 1 parking space and most all units have a storage unit
  • 3 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $367,500 to $500,000; at the time of this post there are 2 units pending priced from $329,000 to $365,000 and there are no active units on the market
  • HOA dues include: garbage, water, sewer, central hot water, building maintenance, professional property manager, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Party room with terrace, gym, yoga room and a roof top deck

Continue reading "Condo Review - Hjarta" »

Salt Condominiums will Now be Apartments

According to an article just posted by Matt at urbnlivn, Salt Condominiums will now be built as apartments.

Salt was intended to be a boutique condo building with just 38 units sitting in the heart of Ballard. The reason? Rising construction costs. With the construction around Seattle hitting a peak, construction costs are skyrocketing. And after seeing the plethora of condo building lawsuits between Home Owner Associations and the Builders of those condos in the last few years, construction companies are charging a premium to build condos based on the probability of lawsuits in the future, that premium doesn't get tacked on to build apartments. So that leads to the birth of Salt Apartments and the death of Salt Condos.

Following in the footsteps of Rollin Street, Equinox and many others during the recession, we are seeing our first condo to apartment use switch since the market rebounded. Instead of changing uses due to lack of demand as was the previous reason, as demand is something Seattle actually has a lot of right now, it is due to the rising costs to build. We knew that construction financing for building condos has been tight and tough to get for years preventing a glut of condo buildings from being built in the first place and leading to a lot more apartments under construction around the city. But I am not sure that we expected projects to be announced as condos and have to switch uses mid stream due to rising costs. It is an interesting development.

Thank you Matt for the heads up on this news.

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

Seattle New Construction Condo Comparison

Many questions from our readers and clients come up about what the different available options are in the new construction and presale condos in our city. We wanted to offer some guidance to help people compare the options in terms of the price points, amenities as well and some pros and cons of each project as well. Other projects are in the works, but these are the buildings that have officially announced sales and gone public with the details about their projects.

Why consider a presale condo?

Presale condominium purchases are not for everyone, but if you are someone who has flexibility on timing, and are looking for the opportunity to select your floor plan, finishes, color palate, location within a building, and even choose your view orientation, than a presale purchase can be an ideal solution. Also in a market where current availability of units for sale is a challenge being patient and considering a new construction presale can be a great solution. But you also have to be okay with buying a home without seeing the actual physical condo you are buying and making a decision based off of a floor plan, drawings and architectural renderings.  There is a lot of blind faith involved when buying a presale condo.  My recommendations are to also take a look at the past completed projects by the developer of the building you are considering to see what those projects look and feel like.  Also, talk to people who have purchased from the developer in the past and do some research.

Some information will change as the condo projects progress but as a guide here is a great overview:

Condo Compare Page 1

Continue reading "Seattle New Construction Condo Comparison" »

Condo Review – Ballard Condominiums in Ballard

Ballard Condominiums in Ballard
1525 NW 57th St


Ballard Condominiums is a large 163 unit condominium building located in the popular Ballard neighborhood.  It is just a couple of blocks from all of the activities and amenities of Market Street and Ballard Avenue that make this part of Seattle so popular.   Being a larger building, it does have an impressive amenities package that the condo owners can use.  For the Ballard neighborhood, there are only a couple other condo buildings that have this large of an amenities package as that is usually reserved for the larger high rise condos we find in the downtown core.

The stats:

  • 163 residential units – studios, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 453 to 1338 square feet
  • Built in 2000
  • 6 story building
  • All units have 1, 2 or 3 parking spaces
  • Not all units have a storage locker
  • 3 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $218,000 to $315,000; None of those were 2 bedrooms.  At the time of this post there was one pending studio unit listed at $185,000 and no active units
  • HOA dues include: garbage, building maintenance, concierge, professional property management, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, party room, concierge, roof deck, business center and conference room

Continue reading "Condo Review – Ballard Condominiums in Ballard" »