“Home of the Week” Winner | 5 Acres on Paradise Cove

Home of the Day is a feature presented by the Puget Sound Business Journal and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. This is your invitation to view some of Puget Sound’s most luxurious properties. Come inside and take a look around. Read more below on the “Home of the Week” winner, listed by Ev Winningham & Kimberleigh King!

It isn’t often you get the chance to create your own family legacy in a place as picture perfect as Paradise Cove, on Sequim Bay! First time available 5 acre estate, with 345 feet of waterfront. Stunningly beautiful, custom designed, NW Contemporary home, plus separate guest house.

Sequim Bay Point Association is an exclusive, waterfront community with 125 lush acres, with just 15 home sites. Neighborhood association amenities include: Treadwell Spit, 3 docks inside Paradise Cove, and boat ramp, partial ownership of Travis Spit, heated indoor swimming pool and sauna, 2 tennis courts, and historic buildings. Stay in Skookumchuck cabin on the bay, where members can stay overnight. Spend the day kayaking, and hiking. Then share stories around a campfire, while toasting marshmallows for s’mores. There are numerous walking and hiking trails, plenty of fishing, clamming and crabbing, long strolls along beaches.

Read More Here >>

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Lili Shang, Top Ranking Chinese Real Estate Agent, Hits Homerun as she Remarks on the Seattle Market in Bloomberg Business Feature

In a recent article for Bloomberg Business, Hui-Yong Yu outlines the way in which “Seattle’s Tech Boom Is Driving Up Housing Prices” with the help of Lili Shang, a top producing broker and Founding Member of the Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty‘s (RSIR) Asia Desk. Providing her expert commentary, Shang shares her predictions on a global platform, telling  Bloomberg  that “we will be like San Francisco in five years” because “it’s a new era” in the Puget Sound area.

The feature also outlined Shang’s stellar representation of a couple who purchased a Seattle mansion for $3.2 million back in September from Jamie Moyer, former Pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. The deal, as Shang alludes to in the article, signals a growing trend in Pacific Northwest real estate because just after buying the home, her clients rented it to a group of employees from Amazon.com Inc. Why make the purchase then? According to Shang, “many of her Chinese clients are making a long-term bet on Seattle. ‘They’re waiting for their kids to grow up, to get ready for college or high school.’” In other words, they’re making investment purchases that will provide far more than merely financial returns in their futures.

“Home of the Week” Winner | Villa Bellini

Home of the Day is a feature presented by the Puget Sound Business Journal and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. This is your invitation to view some of Puget Sound’s most luxurious properties. Come inside and take a look around. Read more below on the “Home of the Week” winner, listed by Tracy Vaughn and the Citrone Partners!

Behind lush walls of mature landscaping is an oasis of nature and tranquility, where one can watch the sun set over the Olympics and ferry boats sailing by. This dramatic old world villa with modern edges is a retreat reminiscent of the grand homes of the French Riviera. Meticulously renovated by respected designer Sandra Tanzi Bellini for over 10 years, this 5,000 foot trophy property brings the visitor to a grander time; an artist’s vision built to the highest standards. A sense of place, and the spaces within… both of which are rich and textured, and deeply felt at Villa Bellini.

Featuring a hand wrought Oak entry door that opens to a sunken formal living room with painted Alder floors that gathers around the grand terra cotta fireplace; a perfect blend of modern convenience and essential elements of the Old World. Oak, Pecan and limestone floors throughout. An elegant hallway leads to a spectacular dining room and true gourmet kitchen with antique farm sink, Lacanche Cote D’or commercial stove and oven; custom Sub-Zero drawers and Fisher-Paykel when the party is put to bed. Expertly choreographed doors and windows create light-filled living spaces throughout, especially within the expansive chef’s kitchen, which opens out onto a veranda with custom inlay floor with views to Puget sound and beyond. Charming library/ art studio uses oak beams to vault the ceiling and warms the limestone walls and floor with abundant natural light. Not to be missed, the charming spice garden that invites the visitor to pause and reflect amid thyme, sage, rosem ary, Marjoram, basil, mint.

The master suite is warm and inviting; French doors flow to a private sun warmed garden oasis with a trickling fountain and breakfast nook. Also nice, the Spa style master bath that recalls the grand estates of Paris.

Detailed Terra Cotta walls throughout the home feature playful motifs of nature and whimsy. Everywhere the touches of an artist’s knowing palette.

The lower level is an escape unto itself; the warm textures of a custom movie room blend seamlessly with the champagne bar and wine cellar designed for an expert sommelier and holding 850 varieties. A guest room that calms the senses leads to the rich textures of a European spa bath. Private entry; full designer kitchen and walk in closet. A two car garage/art studio or gym features an additional kitchen with designer appliances.

In the garden, a resort lifestyle. Swimming pool and Jacuzzi share a stage with a Scandinavian Sauna in view of Puget Sound. Quaint seating nooks abound and invite reflection or the reading of a good book.

Lush, mature landscaping was brought to this place from gardens with exotic names; with unwavering vision and purpose.

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Thinking of Selling Your Jewelry? Meet the Experts.

An Invitation to Consign; Sotheby’s Jewelry Specialist to Visit Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s (RSIR) Kirkland “Connoisseurs of Life” Showroom

If you have jewelry to sell, now’s the perfect time, as Carol Elkins, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President of Jewelry, will be receiving clientele by appointment at RSIR’s “Connoisseurs of Life Showroom.” Elkins will be open for meetings at 15 Lake Street in Kirkland between 9a and 5p on Wednesday July 29th and Thursday July 30th, offering complimentary and confidential evaluations while accepting consignments for upcoming auctions.

With over thirty years of experience in the field, Carol organizes, curates and promotes Jewelry sales in New York, meets with clients to provide estimates and appraisals, and conducts educational seminars on a number of jewelry evaluation topics. She is regarded as a leading specialist in antique and period Jewelry.

To schedule a meeting, with Carol Elkins, please call +1 917.605.0817

Is it Really Less Expensive to Own than Rent?

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and Caliber Home Loans looked at average prices of newer condominiums and compared rents for comparable apartments. They found the total cost of ownership was effectively lower when factoring income tax deductions, not to mention the opportunity for capital appreciation. The research was performed as part of a recent think tank hosted by the Puget Sound Business Journal, which was published as a section called The Manhattanization of Seattle.

“Prospective homebuyers may not realize that there are zero down payment mortgage options and special credits available for certain buyer profiles that makes it very affordable to purchase,” said Trevor Bennett, a mortgage banker with Caliber Home Loans. “When you couple this with sharp pricing, low interest rates and income tax deductions, that math works out in favor of homeownership.”

As published by The Puget Sound Business Journal, rents have grown by 35% since 2011 and condo values have lagged but are now on the rebound. At the same time lending guidelines have loosened up with higher leverage financing options so buyers can put less money down.

“This is pivotal because the market is appreciating faster than most consumers can save,” adds Bennett. “So the notion of renting and building up a larger down payment to buy a home in a couple of years may not make sense. Not only do I feel there will be more buyers competing on fewer homes but I fear interest rates may also be higher. You can lock in today’s purchase price and today’s mortgage rates and as you save ahead you can always pay down your mortgage quicker.”

RSIR recently noted that Seattle area home prices are setting new records and at 2.5% growth, month over month appreciation eclipsed San Francisco for the first time.

“We are in a very special market and savvy consumers should take advantage of these unique conditions while they can,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “This opportunity comes at a time when consumer confidence is high and the markets point to home value appreciation ahead. There are many qualified buyers that are renting and while it’s always easier to stay put and sign another lease, deferring a purchase by even a year could mean the loss of tens of thousands of dollars when factoring income taxes and potential capital gains.”

The following spreadsheet illustrates the comparison of an actual new development that is exploring whether to build condominiums or apartments.

DeanGraph

The actual interest rate ranges from 3.99% to 4.375% and the monthly PITI (principle, interest, taxes and insurance) would vary somewhat depending on borrower’s credit score. Nonetheless, from a consumer perspective it was noted that the total annual cost of ownership (not including down payment) ranged from 0.2% to 2.3% more to own these homes (expressed as a percentage of purchase price) versus renting them before calculating income tax deductions on the owner’s tax return. Not only would that make this home less expensive to own but it sets up the owner for capital appreciation, which has been trending much higher than the added costs of ownership. Every borrower’s situation is unique and consumers are encouraged to contact a Caliber Home Loans mortgage banker to explore their purchasing power. Trevor Bennett can be reached at 206.940.2558 or via email.

This trend actually began occurring in 2013, which was noted by King 5 TV and captured on a blog post by RSIR. Since then rents have grown by double digits and the market today is even more favorable for would-be buyers. However, experts caution that these conditions may erode as both condo values and interest rates are projected to rise. Some pundits worry if this rate of inflation is setting up for another market correction but those closest to the ground aren’t as convinced. Seattle is America’s fastest growing city, demand is high and inventory is tight leading many brokers to believe these trend will go on for years.

“I remember when we were selling Olive 8 at the bottom of the market, there were plenty of doubters about the trajectory of the marketplace then but we got it right,” adds Jones. “I’m confident in our opinions now. The law of supply and demand doesn’t waiver with consumer speculation or market fears. There are a lot of new residents coming to the region and the market fundamentals are strong. Our median home prices are still half that of San Francisco for now but not for long.”

Jones and Bennett will host a series of homebuyer seminars in August to help educate prospective buyers on the opportunities.  To register for more information, click HERE.

Sign of the Times – Seattle Area Home Price Appreciation Sets New Record; Many Prospective Homebuyers Rally (Others Should)

It’s official King County, we’ve recovered.

The Great Recession has been replaced by what seems like the Great Inflation, as year-over-year home prices in King County increased 10.3% in June 2015. Median home prices are now pegged at $500,000, according to a recent report by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. This new peak surpasses the previous record set in 2007, which topped out at $481,000 before correcting. The difference this time around, however, is that we have a more robust and sustainable economy and only a fraction of the inventory for sale – down 23.2% in just one year, which drops our total supply to just 1.18 months. The larger looming issue is that new construction of for-sale housing, especially in the downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue areas, is anemic at best. Greater still is the fact that thousands of would-be buyers are likely incubating in those shiny new apartment towers.

PICTURED ABOVE: SeattleBubble.com highlights a recent analysis of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the tri-county area, which illustrates that Seattle's metro area experienced the greatest month-to-month change in resale property values, surpassing San Francisco for the first time.

PICTURED ABOVE: SeattleBubble.com highlights a recent analysis of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the tri-county area, which illustrates that Seattle’s metro area experienced the greatest month-to-month change in resale property values, surpassing San Francisco for the first time.

Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR), a top producing brokerage firm in downtown Seattle, points to a lack of supply, rising demand and the threat of increasing interest rates, which means a reduction in homebuyer’s purchasing power lies ahead. As the market moves away from renters who seek to purchase someday, Jones says that sudden realization will prompt many into action. Concurrently, other discretional buyer profiles are also entering the market, including downsizers, second homes, student housing, investors, and the like.

“It’s creating a perfect storm,” says Jones. “As the hurricane of the Great Recession passed through Seattle between 2008 and 2012 many consumers chose to rent apartments.  We’ve been in the eye of that storm for a few years and now the winds are blowing in the other direction with equal force and influence. Buyers are back. We see this new storm wall approaching and there will be a steep climb in home prices before we find some smoother air and market stabilization.”

While it’s true that homeownership levels in the U.S. are at 25-year lows, hovering around 64%, that doesn’t explain the logic of building virtually all apartment buildings in downtown Seattle.

“Demand for new for-sale housing units hasn’t corrected by 95% but the construction of for-sale housing certainly has,” adds Jones. “That’s creating a supply and demand problem and buyers are feeling the pressure.”

According to RSIR research, only 5% of the new housing stock recently delivered or under construction is for sale. What’s going to happen when, statistically speaking, 64% or even 30% of current rental demand decides they want to buy? Will there be housing for them? Will they be able to afford it by then?

Jones and other real estate opinion leaders recently attended a round table discussion with The Puget Sound Business Journal, which published a feature section entitled “The Manhattanization of Seattle.” The think tank considered the market fundamentals, ultimately projecting that rising demand, dwindling supply and increasing home prices across Seattle will become omnipresent by mid-2015.

 

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CONDO COMEBACK: FOLLOWING A DEARTH OF NEW SUPPLY AFTER THE 2008 ECONOMIC RECESSION AND CREDIT CRUNCH, A NEW CYCLE OF IN-CITY CONDOMINIUMS WILL BEGIN BECOMING AVAILABLE IN 2015 AS BOTH HOMEBUYER INTEREST AND MEDIAN HOME PRICES RISE. AS ILLUSTRATED, THE RESALE MARKET IS ALSO EXPECTED TO EXPAND SIGNIFICANTLY AS NEW PRODUCT ALLOWS MOVE-UP BUYERS TO INTRODUCE MORE RESALE INVENTORY TO THE MARKETPLACE AND MORE RENTERS ARE EXPECTED TO PURCHASE THAT SUPPLY. – *Source: The Puget Sound Business Journal

 

PICTURED ABOVE & BELOW: Downtown Seattle condominium sales have been relatively stable in terms of total unit absorption and values from peak through the trough and are poised to set new records as the market reboots in 2015 and a limited number of new construction projects are delivered.

PICTURED ABOVE & BELOW: Downtown Seattle condominium sales have been relatively stable in terms of total unit absorption and values from peak through the trough and are poised to set new records as the market reboots in 2015 and a limited number of new construction projects are delivered.

The buyer boom has dominated headlines in recent weeks in part because Seattle is now the top destination for techies fleeing California. Thus it’s no surprise that half of the most influential tech giants are setting up shop in the Seattle area. Many of these companies are competing for recruits by promising an enviable downtown “live, work, play” lifestyle to complement higher salaries. The other promise is wage growth, which is rising in 2015 faster than it has since 2007. Consider that Washington State witnessed annual average increases of 4.2%, but in the tech industry, it was more than 10%. Seattle is also the second best place to be a landlord and the third tightest housing market because many of these relocating workers are going to rent for a few years before buying.

It helps too that Washington has no state income tax. In fact, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Council for Community and Economic Research and the Tax Foundation concluded that the State of Washington is the second best state in the U.S. to make a living.

More and more national media publications, including Bloomberg News, are citing the fundamentals and impact on the housing market and will likely continue to do so as we shift into a bull market for housing of all types. But as the tower cranes rise so will the cost to live in those towers.

Move over San Francisco and Vancouver, Seattle is on the map.

 

The Latest Luxe Magazine Brings Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty to the Forefront

The latest issue of Luxe Magazine brings Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) to the fore, as the brokerage featured a spread of new residential developments, introduced the waterfront market report, and elevated the “status quo” with the back cover page.

In “Extraordinary New Homes,” readers encountered four stunning developments with RSIR brokers at the helm:

Fort Lawton, offered by Stephanie McMahon, is a restoration of twenty-six heirloom homes in Discovery Park. A century in the making, the homes will artfully unite landmark architecture with inspired landscaping, modern conveniences and designer interiors. Arrival begins Fall 2015.

Fort Lawton

Fort Lawton, Pre-Renovation

Offered by Becky Gray, Jodi Long, and Bill Cahill, Vista View Estates brings a new perspective on refined Redmond living. Currently on the market, there are just six homes left, which offer a new lifestyle of unsurpassed luxury, comfort and enduring value firsthand.

Vista View Estates

The Vista View Estates Lifestyle

Eddie Chang offers three new luxury homes presented by D. Mitchell at Harrison Estates in Redmond. The 4,000 square foot homes feature stamped concrete driveways, award-winning landscape, gourmet kitchens, craftsman style wainscoting, and much more.

D Mitchell Home

One of the New D Mitchell Homes

The Juanita Farmhouse Cottages, offered by Val Burmester and Kemper Dougan, are a timeless boutique collection of nine unique homes and a community center presented by Kim Saunders. The efficiently-designed homes will range in size with a maximum of 1,500 square feet, offering three bedrooms, with first occupancy mid-2016.

An Image Evoking the Farmhouse Cottages Vision

An Image Evoking the Farmhouse Cottages Vision

RSIR’s Waterfront Report, which focuses on the central Puget Sound region including King, Kitsap, Snohomish and Pierce counties, features everything you need to discover the shimmering shores, from reflecting on each unique waterfront market to a quiz testing how “knotty” you are. View more >>>

Finally, the back page reminds readers, “Status? yes. Quo? never,” speaking to the elevated level of service Team RSIR always provides.

What Do the Wealthy Want? Real Estate Of Course!

In a recent article on Think AdvisorGlobal Wealthy Want More Real Estate,” Michael S. Fischer breaks down the latest Savills/Wealth Briefing survey, which reveals that “private bankers and wealth managers found that 91% of global high-net-worth [HNW] investors were looking to increase or maintain the real estate holdings they own directly, and 87% intended to increase or maintain indirect holdings.”

Some key statistics, indicated by the chart below, show that 72% of wealth managers’ clients plan to purchase residential properties in the next five years and that “North America was the choice investment destination of investors.”

Harriet Davies, who wrote a statement for the survey, said “demand for property is not only being driven by low interest rates,” which are bound to increase in the current climate, but “structural shifts mean that real estate is likely to grow in importance for HNW investors.” Thus “it is crucial that advisors understand the evolving role of real estate in portfolios,” and for the real estate industry to embrace these market trends.

Do You Feel the Call of Tropical Shores? Meet Aura, An Award-Winning Home by Tom Kundig

Are the tropical shores calling your name? They may be beckoning you toward AURA, a contemporary coastal masterpiece designed by Tom Kundig. Perched on a private, conservation zoned 6.5 peninsula in Kapalua, Maui, AURA overlooks the protected waters of Honolua Bay and Mokule’ia Bay.

This stunning estate is owned by landscape photographer Peter Lik, who made history when he sold his photograph “Phantom” for a record breaking $6.5M U.S. Lik says naming AURA was much like naming one of his art pieces, with the name derived from the instant connection he felt to the home, its breathtaking grounds, and natural surroundings. Since he purchased the home, Lik has made it his own personal retreat, transforming the island getaway into a living work of art flawlessly blending photography, unparalleled architecture, and the island setting.

Photo Credit: Dino Tessara

Photo Credit: Dino Tessara

The state of the art design re-imagines the traditional surf hut, infusing modern features with the latest in sustainable materials. Rammed earth walls and cement floors combine with strategically placed vents in the corrugated metal roofs to allow for the natural Pacific breeze to effortlessly ventilate the three private, yet connected, huts.

The central living hut is the heart of the home, with a chef’s kitchen complete with Sub Zero commercial refrigerators and wine coolers, as well as a professional Wolf gas range and oven. A separate prep-kitchen and pantry keep the living area open and focus on the view, while the media room/den provides an intimate gathering space.  Nearly 80 feet of steel-framed glass walls at the front and back of the home are controlled by hydraulics to open completely, transforming and expanding the living space.

Click to view slideshow.

The Guest Hut is oriented with a view to the ocean and the scenic neighbor island of Molokai.  Two bedroom suites, with a spacious lanai, provide privacy for guests. The Master Suite is perfectly situated to take in the beauty of the Pacific and Maui’s amazing sunsets.  Sliding glass walls open to the lanai and spectacular views of the Kapalua Coastline.  The Master Ensuite has been further enhanced with a chiseled anthracite shower wall, Boffi pipe fixtures, custom crafted concrete sinks, and hand forged bronze entry handles. An adjoining space can be used as a home office, media room, or fourth bedroom.

Situated in the heart of Maui’s Kapalua Resort, the estate is surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Marine Life Conservation Districts of Mokuleia and Honolua Bays, with views framed by the neighbor islands of Molokai and Lanai. The Kapalua Resort offers championship golf courses, tennis, miles of hiking trails, award winning beaches, and fine dining, all within a stunning 22,000 acre setting that extends from the ocean to the Pu’u Kukui watershed in the West Maui Mountains, the largest private nature preserve in the state of Hawaii.

AURA has received well deserved attention from around the world. In 2011, Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects won the Grand Award at the Residential Design Awards for the innovative design – “this house is just incredibly beautiful,” proclaimed one of the judges. Of the site and his work, “I don’t think that I could ever design something as beautiful as what’s already out there,” Kundig wrote in 2011. “We’re here to frame the landscape, to create an experience of that place, and perhaps to bring some of that experience – the intimacy, the vulnerability – inside the house.”

Sotheby’s International Realty recognized it in a series on Coastal Contemporary Properties, which included the finest real estate offerings available today in oceanfront modern architecture: from Malibu to Sydney to the Côte d’Azur. AURA has also been profiled by Architectural Digest, CurbedThe Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Sotheby’s Perspectives and was featured in a print article by The Wall Street Journal.

For more information on this extraordinary offering, please contact listing agents Courtney M. Brown, R(S) or Rob Shelton, R(B) of Island Sotheby’s International Realty.

Whiskey Creek Beach | On the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Listed by Cassie Daughtrey

Just outside of Port Angeles, and tucked away is Whiskey Creek Beach, a family owned and operated versatile property, with northwest history and a setting that takes us back to a simpler time. Loren Martin and Cassie Daughtrey had the wonderful opportunity to experience WCB first hand, staying the night in “Captain’s Quarters,” one of the six vintage cabins on 11 acres of historic Olympic Peninsula waterfront with a story and a future.

North facing on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, more than 1500 linear feet of beach front.

North facing on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, more than 1500 linear feet of beach front.

The Schmitt Family bought this land nearly a century ago in the little town of Joyce, Washington, when fishing was the only draw to this beautiful landscape. Generations have made their home here and specifically at Whiskey Creek Beach, with access to a private boat ramp, seaside privacy, and surrounded by the woods.

The main homestead on the property overlooks the sound, north to Canada.

The main homestead on the property overlooks the sound, north to Canada.

With a whimsical salute, the main house is the first sign of Whiskey Creek Beach’s quirky and magical welcome; full of character & coastal tchotchkes. Further down the road, vintage, rustic cabins built by hand, line the coastline. Each with it’s own unique name, each uniquely different from the next, people have been escaping to Whiskey Creek Beach for decades as a way to unplug from the hustle and bustle.



With names like “Halibut Hole,” “Codfish Cottage,” and “Captain’s Quarters,” the charm is undeniable. The lapping water lulls you to sleep, and the salt in the air wakes you in the morning. A private boat launch is very difficult to find anywhere on the sound. The boat launch at Whiskey Creek Beach is unique in it’s water access. The video above shows the property in more detail, including the the boat launch.

To fully appreciate Whiskey Creek Beach, you must experience it in person. In a busy world, full of appointments and obligations, rare is it to find a place so close but that feels so far away. This is original PNW living at it’s best.

For more information, please visit the Whiskey Creek Beach site.

View Cassie Daughtrey’s original blog post here >>>