Web/Tech Feed

Want to See What Will Be Built Outside Your Window in the Future in Seattle?

Seattle in ProgressEver wish you had a crystal ball to see what that vacant lot near your condo might be someday? It’s not a true crystal ball, but it’s close: www.seattleinprogress.com.

If you are thinking about selling your condo or buying one here in Seattle, potential development near your building can have an effect on both current market value as well as future market value.  Not to mention just knowing what is coming is valuable information.  For example, will there be new retail or a new grouping of townhomes that will gobble up a bunch of street parking near your condo? Will there be a new building that will block your current view?

But with so many new construction developments, how can the average person keep up and more importantly keep informed? Just today when driving down Lakeview over the I-5 overpass, Loren and I counted 17 construction cranes towering over the city, just in the South Lake Union and Denny Triangle area alone!  There are cranes in Ballard, on Capitol Hill, in Roosevelt, you name it.  And those are just the cranes you can see now.  But what about if you could see into the future, even before a crane or construction trailer hits the site?  Well you can now, sort of.

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Slowdown Reaches Seattle Real Estate Tech Stars

Looks like more folks are "battening down the hatches" as Zillow's Barton said. Here are some excerpts from Seattle real estate startups regarding their cut backs. I have to say I hope these companies make it through the rough patch. Redfin's MLS search is one of my favorites and Zillow is always fun to check out from time to time.

The unprecedented economic events that are playing out on a global stage began in our own industry and have made a prolonged recession likely, in our judgment. We are a young company that is not yet making a profit. Despite having sizeable cash reserves, we deemed the responsible course was to meaningfully reduce expenses, so that Zillow emerges from the other side of the recession in a very strong position, even if the recession lasts many years.

Full Zillow Blog Post


Even a month ago, we were raising 2009 revenue projections. All our markets, now including Chicago, contributed profits. But the past few weeks have seen a major reversal. As the stock market wiped out prospective down-payments, tours and offers dropped 30%. Transactions that were done came undone. October will still be pretty good, then we’re headed for a big dip.

Full Redfin Post

For what it's worth, I remain hopeful things will turn around in the new year. I know a number of my clients are pondering if January is the right time to make a purchase. A few are waiting for after the election to decide on what to do. It remains to be seen if the news will get better, worse, or stay the same leading up to the new year.