Help Ballard Bring Home The Curbed Cup!

We Ballardites know that we’re lucky enough to live in the BEST neighborhood in Seattle, right? Well, now’s our chance to let the whole city know!

The 2016 Curbed Cup is up for grabs and it’s down to us, Vs Columbia City. That’s right, we have made it all the way to the final round!

Now, it’s time to bring it home.  With 5 (yes, F-I-V-E) days to vote for Ballard, and a community of crazy-proud inhabitants, it would be a cinch to take the title. That is, THE title, the whole shebang, The Curbed Cup.

Head over to Curbed Seattle to cast your vote (or click here and skip the extra typing) for our ‘hood before midnight tonight for it to count.

And don’t just stop there, share the link with your friends! Text, them, email them, bribe them into casting their vote, whatever you have to do, get others to join so we can come out on top!

The title is within our grasp, so close we can taste it, let’s not let it slip away! We all know Ballard is where it’s at, let’s make sure everyone else does too! 

May Real Estate Report

The real estate market for the North Seattle area continued the year long trend of being a sellers’ market. Houses are selling faster and at a higher price point than a year ago. The average days on market for a North Seattle home in 2013 was 24 days, this past month a home sold on average in 20 days. More buyers are having pre-inspections completed, writing cash offers, and waiving other contingencies, all to compete for their dream home. Compared to May of 2013, the median price on a home sold in North Seattle increased by 10%. That increase is a result of more buyers who are looking to live in North Seattle.

More specifically in Ballard, the median home price rose from $436,000 in May 2013 to $500,000 in May 2014. That is a 15% increase from the previous year and 5% higher than the average home sold when compared to the rest of North Seattle. If you are looking to buy or sell your home and would like more information, feel free to contact me with any questions.

 

*Data provided by the NWMLS

North Seattle English Tudor Available: $1,375,000

Broadview home

This timeless 1928 English Tudor home sits on 3/4 of an acre, and is now available. A true estate experience, this home has pillared entrance with a circular drive, sunny manicured lawns, and beautiful garden space. Features include herringbone oak floors and original stained glass windows. Extensive remodel addition includes country kitchen with eating space, Viking range refrigerator oak cabinets, living room with 2 story ceiling, a wet bar, and a large home office. The dining room is custom wall papered with French doors, and the master has a huge walk-in closet. Two car heated garage attached. For more information about this lovely home, please contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 4/2.5
Price: $1,375,000

Housing Inventory Rises in Seattle

If you have been active in the market to buy a new home, you know how tough it has been to find a property that meets your needs and fits your budget. For most of 2013 more people were looking to be buyers rather than sellers which led to an inventory shortage in the Seattle market. For the first time this year (according to this Seattle PI article) we are starting to see the inventory of houses increase while the number of buyers stay roughly the same. Currently the level of housing inventory is about the same as November 2012 with the median home price in Seattle at $408,000. All of this is a good sign if you are in the market for a new home.489177

While there are more houses available today than a couple months ago, that does not mean the real estate market is slowing down. Compared to last year the total number of sales for the month of June increased 11%. With interest rates still low and the inventory of houses increasing, this may be a great time to consider purchasing!

Ballard Residents Buying Up Air Rights

The latest trend in the Seattle real estate market may not be the buying or selling of the house on your property but rather the air rights above it. According to this KING5.com story, people around the Seattle area including Ballard are buying their neighbors air rights in order to protect their priceless views. Whether it be a panoramic view of downtown Seattle or a clear look at Puget Sound, people are spending money to protect their views as the trend to build higher continues to grow.

One of the main reasons for this trend is that the population density in neighborhoods like Ballard have grown so fast that people can no longer build out to increase their houses square footage, leaving the only other option which is to build up. According to the article air rights are selling for anywhere between $50,000 to $250,000 which some neighbors are happy to pay if it means their views remain the same. 

So the next time that you see your neighbors house for sale, one thing that you may want to consider is if the new owners were to build up, would they block my priceless view?

Goodbye Viking Tavern, hello more condos

Tuesday was the last day that locals could enjoy a beer at the Ballard ScaVikingndinavian Viking Bar. The bar opened in 1950 and closed yesterday to make way for a new development project…..more condos. Many are sad to see the local hangout go and are trying to decide which local bar will be their new hangout to enjoy a beer.

It was bittersweet for owners Tim and Peggy Cannon. They had been the owners of Viking Tavern for the past 23 years. The bar was filled with regulars, customers who have become family to Peggy. Peggy left early while Tim stayed to see out the Viking’s last closing. Although no decision has been made, the Cannons have been talking with Bill Parks, managing partner of the Ballard Lofts, in regards to possibly resurrecting the Viking. Parks has plans for new development which would provide space for retail or a new bar.

Cupcake Royale Now Offering Ice Cream!

Is it summer yet? We’ve seen a glimmer here and there, but the folks at Cupcake Royale are happy with what they can get this summer, and taking the opportunity to launch ice cream in all 6 of their store fronts.

The delectable cupcake gurus are now offering flavors such as “cupcakes n cream” as their signature flavor, and will have many other unique flavors such as their “whiskey maple bacon crack” made with locally sourced Woodinville Whiskey, and Zoe’s meats bacon, “Bonanza” made with bananas homemade brownies and caramel, burnt caramel and sea salt, and red velvet cupcake; yum! The newest store front is located at 108 pine street downtown and will open this Saturday, but until then will have a food cart outside the store front serving scoops from noon-8pm. The Ballard, Capitol Hill, and Bellevue locations will have scoops, shakes cones and sundaes on their menu, and all other locations will have pints to go.

Seattle Summer Streets Days Coming to Ballard & West Seattle

It’s that time of year again; Seattle’s annual series of Summer Streets Days is here, where certain streets are marked off for pedestrians, bicycles, skateboards and various block parties in the surrounding Seattle areas, in particular the Ballard and West Seattle

West Seattle Street Closure, Photo Courtesy of Seattle Department of Transportation

neighborhoods. Beginning tomorrow night, 22nd st NW in Ballard will be closed off from 4-7pm right next to Bergen Place Park. Also on Sunday the majority of Alki Avenue Southwest will be closed to motorized vehicles between 9am-5pm to clear out for morning traffic, a  5k fun run, live music, and other activities. Please be prepared for traffic backups, and utilize non-motorized vehicles for transportation.

Looking for a Unique Rental? Live in a Church!

If you’ve been searching for a rental unlike any other around town, check out this converted home on Ballard that was once an actual church! This quirky 6,300 sf Ballard landmark, located at 2007 NW 61st St is partially renovated for residential living quarters, and has that spooky haunted house/old spirits lurking around the church feel to it.

Photo Courtesy of RedFin

This 6 Bedroom, 3.25 bath is equipped with a bell tower, abandoned tricycles amidst the entryway and a relatively large attic space and can be your humble abode for $789,000. Find other listings in the Ballard neighborhood here.

Seattle Apartment Vacancy Rate at All Time Low Now, but Will Ballard be Overbuilt?

Ballard Hjarta IIAccording to a Seattle Times article, apartment vacancy rates in Seattle are at an all-time low. In the past few years, the Seattle rental market, especially in Ballard, has shifted from a tenant-market to a landlord-market. What does that mean for people searching for apartments? High rents.

Using the basic economic theory of supply and demand, there hasn’t been much new supply. The amount of new apartments is one-third of what was offered in 2009. Additionally, demand is higher, MUCH higher. People who can afford houses are fearful to buy, so they are staying in apartments, despite the evidence that it may be more affordable to buy. Additionally (and this is my own theory), the economy is picking up, meaning more young professionals can afford to move out or live with fewer roommates than before. Demand has skyrocketed and that has caused the Seattle vacancy rate to be under 5%! The higher rents are definitely noticeable in Ballard.

Fortunately, Ballard is working hard to meet that demand. It is impossible to not see the cranes that dot the horizon as you look across Market or look up 15th or 24th. Tenants should feel some rent relief in the next year or so. However, some are worried that Ballard may be overbuilt. In my opinion, I think people will continue to flock to the neighborhood. But I’ve said that in previous posts. What do you think?

If you’re interested in seeing what’s available in the apartment market in Ballard and the surrounding areas, use the search tool here.