Is North Ballard Seattle’s Best Kept Secret?

Trulia recently released a report analyzing neighborhoods that locals look at but out-of-towners frequently look over in the daunting home searching quest. These would be considered a city’s best kept secret. According to the report, summarized in the Seattle P.I., Ballard’s zip code of 98117 is Seattle’s best kept secret. Encompassing Loyal Heights, Crown Hill, North Beach, Whittier Heights, and Greenwood, the 98117 zipcode offers quietly upscale homes without the expensive prices. Personally, I live in the 98117 zip code and think it is a fantastic neighborhood. It offers lots of restaurants and stores, yet still has a neighborhood feel to it.

What do you think? Do you think 98117 is Seattle’s best kept secret?

Seattle Funding Precinct – Liaison Attorneys

When there is a public safety issue or a chronic neighbor nuisance, it’s not always most efficient or effective to call 911. Sometimes, it’s best to go through a precinct-liaison program. Up until now, Seattle budget cutbacks have prevented funding to such programs.  According to a Seattle Times article, the Seattle City Council has restored funding to allow four attorney liaisons in  Seattle’s five police precincts.

For the Ballard area, your precinct liaison attorney is Jana Jorgensen. Starting in mid-February, you can contact her as a resource to solve neighborhood issues, like nuisance properties, feuding neighbors, and gang activity. Additionally, she lives in the North precinct, so she has a vested interest in the public safety issues of Ballard and the surrounding neighborhoods. With a precinct liaison attorney, it increases the police capabilities, using legal means to solve community issues. You can contact her at 206-684-7765 for your community needs, starting mid-February. To view the precinct-liaison attorneys in the other precincts of Seattle or for more information, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Seattle Christmas Lights in Ballard and Beyond!

In today’s Seattle Times, there is a handy guide on where to see some fantastic holiday light displays in the Seattle area. For those of you in the Ballard area, you don’t have to go far. Check out the displays at these addresses:

  • 9234 13th Ave NW – This house has a fun display, with Santa on the roof, a skiing snowman, and a handmade forest!
  • 351 NW 52nd St – Using over 18,000 lights (WOW!), this property owner has a train, a 25-foot star, candy canes, a snowman, a Christmas Tree, and the list goes on and on…
  • Olympic Manor – This is a no-brainer for most Ballard residents but take a drive or walk through Olympic Manor to see some lovely light displays celebrating the holidays. The entrance is on NW 85th St. and 22nd/21st Ave NW or at NW 90th and 24th ave NW.
  • NW 75th St and 21st Ave NW – I was driving around the neighborhood and spotted a house around this location that definitely embraced the holiday spirit. If you have time, swing by and check this house out.

If you want to know where you can go outside of Ballard to see fantastic holiday light displays, check out the Seattle Times guide.

Post in the comments if you saw or made a great holiday display!

The Annual 2011 Christmas Ships Are Coming to Ballard!

2011 Christmas Ship Festival in SeattleSeattle’s annual Christmas Ship Festival officially kicks off this Thursday, December 1st, and you don’t want to miss it when it floats by Ballard.  The 62 year Seattle tradition is a sure way to get you and your family into the holiday spirit.

On December 7th, head over to either the Ballard Locks or Golden Gardens Park in the evening to see the largest holiday floating parade in the world. The brightly decorated Christmas ships will stop in front of the Ballard Locks for 20 minutes, starting at 8:10pm. It’ll continue on to Golden Gardens Park and be there from 9:05-9:25pm. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, warm your hands by the bonfire and listen to the Dickens Carolers.

If you’re busy on Wednesday, you can catch the ships up near Carkeek Park on Sunday, December 11th. The Christmas Ships arrive in Carkeek Park a bit earlier, around 6:00pm. For more information, check out the full schedule here. Happy Holidays!

Embrace your Inner Ballardite at the Annual Yulefest

I’ve only been a Ballard resident for five years. Every once in a while, when I stand in the shadows of the new residential developments, I forget who originally settled Ballard: The Scandinavians. So, it’s great to have museums, like the Nordic Heritage Museum, especially when it holds Nordic celebrations. This weekend, the Ballard museum is hosting the annual Yulefest, according to the Ballard News-Tribune.

The Yulefest is a museum tradition and a fantastic event for the holiday season. There will be Scandinavian musical performances, with fiddlers, dancers and more. For the kids, there will be lots of crafts and activities, as well as a visit from Santa. The fest will also offer traditional Nordic food, including traditional Scandinavian sandwiches, krumkake (a Norwegian waffle cookie), lefse (a Norwegian potato flatbread), and the popular hot, spiced wine, glögg, as well as Nordic beers.

Yulefest is this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. For more information, check out the Nordic Heritage Museum website. Stop by for some Ballard fun. Skål!

Ballard & Seattle Sell Homes Fast

Good news, Seattle real estate pros: Seattle is one of the fastest-selling markets, with San Francisco selling homes faster than in any U.S. city. A Seattle P.I. article reports that it takes, on average, 73 days for a home to sell in Seattle. Good job, Seattle!

But where do homes sell the fastest? Ballard, of course. According to a Zillow report, five of the top ten fastest-selling neighborhoods were either in or near the Ballard area, including Greenwood & Phinney Ridge. This makes sense, mainly due to the key influences: affordability and popularity. In the surrounding Ballard neighborhood, the homes held their value better and lost less value over the past five years. Additionally, it is still fairly affordable, compared to places like Queen Anne and Alki, and has growing popularity, due to its many amenities. After all, Seattle Weekly recently named Ballard the best neighborhood in Seattle to live in. Nice job, Ballard real estate!

Swanson’s Nursery

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Joe with Curley

Joe with Curley

If you’re in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard (or even if you just want some family fun), make sure to stop by Swanson’s Nursery. Last Friday, I took a co-worker’s 2-year old son to Swanson’s to bide time.  I have to say, even I enjoyed it. The nursery is located near the Blue Ridge community in Ballard and is the place to bring children of all ages this holiday season. Continue reading