It List - May 2017

 

1325 Broadmoor Drive E, Seattle  The classic symmetry of a Georgian Colonial never goes out of style! Over 6,000 square feet of yummy interiors & killer finishes combine with a floor plan that really works. Plantation shutters, deep moldings, shadow-boxing, marble floors, paneled den & a family room off of the kitchen. Did I mention the indoor-outdoor flow? An entertainer's dream with 7 sets of French doors opening from the home to the private, sunny & beautifully manicured garden complete with fountain, built-in BBQ & outdoor fireplace. Offered at $3,495,000.

EXPLORE PROPERTY...

"Laura and I worked together for over a year before I purchased a home. She understood what I wanted and would let me know when she saw something that fit. She was there in the background as my advocate. I never felt she was trying to sell me something. Laura was always there to represent me and to protect me. Her knowledge of the market was outstanding. More importantly after we entered escrow she remained my advocate and was always watching out for my interests. I know many realtors in Seattle proper. I would only use Laura going forward. She is pleasant, smart and has integrity."

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On a sunny Seattle evening in the beginning of May, fashion-forward partygoers flocked to Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s newest office branch, The Park House. Our boutique showroom played host to the Style & Urban Bourbon event, which featured savory appetizers, handcrafted premium bourbon from Seattle’s OOLA Distillery, and personal fittings from J. Hilburn stylist Annette Dresser. Guests mingled with RSIR’s global real estate advisers while learning about the season’s latest fashion trends and perusing the curated trunk show.

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On June 11th from 12-4PM, you are invited on a walking tour of distinct neighborhood homes and gardens that highlight a broad range of innovative, classic and stylish design. The tour will begin at The Park House, located at 4031 East Madison Street. All proceeds benefit McGilvra Elementary School to provide critical education support roles including: music classes, art classes, reading specialists, math specialists and more.

PURCHASE TICKETS...

Last week, I joined a group of colleagues for a Bainbridge Island tour day! We started off listening to a great presentation by fellow brokers on island living and Kitsap County opportunities, followed by an exclusive broker tour of RSIR's new waterfront estate. I so love the collaboration between our offices!

On May 19th, The Wall Street Journal's Mansion Global shared the “Secret of the San Juans” with its readers, celebrating the beloved archipelago for its “remoteness and simplicity,” and highlighting its most recent achievement as “the hottest luxury real-estate market in the country.” As Nancy Keates writes, the growth in the area “has been fueled in recent years by an influx of high-tech companies to Seattle, where soaring home prices make the San Juans look like a bargain,” and for its allure as an idyllic retreat.

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My "It Pick" for this month is the NPR podcast titled "How I Built This", which explores innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey. Featured guests include Mark Cuban (serial entrepreneur), Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx), real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, and many more. 

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It List - April 2017

 

1550 Shenandoah Drive E, Seattle  Southern-styled traditional in the heart of Broadmoor! Sited on an expansive double lot, this treasured home has a fantastic floor plan combining elegant formals, cozy library, Four bedrooms up, a kitchen/family room, and and oversized daylight rec-room. Eight sets of French doors lead to either the intimate brick courtyard in the back or open to the balconies that trim the home. Two charming patios, a child's cottage, tree house, and lush garden all embraced by mature flowering trees and shrubs. Offered at $3,495,000.

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I am excited to announce that the very first edition of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty's Enquire Magazine has arrived! I invite you to take a look at the piece, which features some fascinating editorial on our "City of Superlatives", market trends, and exclusive listings, including two of my client's homes!

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In case you missed it, the Pacific Northwest area continues to set the pace with the Seattle metro area up 12.2% as of February 2017 bringing this trend to six months in a row at the top of the US index! 

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"Perhaps one of the best compliments I can give Laura (and advice to anyone reading this) is that I heard from several different agents that I was represented by "the best." When touring open houses on our own we would be asked who we were working with. When I mentioned Laura's name, the agents universally respected her and praised her. When purchasing my new home the seller's agent remarked to me offhand that I was in great hands with Laura, and he was right. Other agents are often the best judge of the skills and talent of their colleagues, and Laura was clearly respected and known by all. It made me feel good to know that I was in such capable hands, and in the end she proved that to me firsthand throughout my experience working with her.

In sum, I cannot recommend Laura highly enough. She is capable, smart, professional, and kind. She's willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done and make a client happy. Don't hesitate to hire her--she truly is the best!"

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Earlier this month, I was a featured expert at the Realogics Sotheby's International "Pro Panel" on winning listings! Alongside five other colleagues, I shared best practices as well as how to best leverage the power of the global brand and our local exclusives. It was an informative event and I even learned a few things myself!

Central Seattle has been a seller’s market since May 2013. Months in inventory have been gradually trending downward, averaging 1.2 in 2016, 1.3 in 2015 and 1.8 in 2014. In 2016, the median price of single-family homes and condos in Central Seattle rose by 13.6%, and exceeded that of King County by 28.%. This is one of the areas where high end sales of homes are concentrated. Sellers continued to benefit from competition among buyers and this is one of the areas seeing substantially higher-than-list prices paid.

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On April 19th, more than 150 VIP guests and members of the media joined Sotheby’s International Realty® affiliates from many of the dozen featured gateway markets that participated in the exclusive all-Chinese book: “Chinese Institutions Definitive guide to USA Real Estate”. The hardcover, 300+ page book was a much anticipated collaboration led by Ben Briggs of Texas-based Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, whom resides and offices in China. Our very own Dean Jones, CEO of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty, is a contributor. Read more to find out about his East Coast tour!

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My "It Pick" for this month is the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival, taking place from May 18th-June 11th all throughout Seattle. As the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the country, more than 400 films from 80 countries are screened. There is certainly something for everyone, from an opening night red carpet experience to a full series pass, complete with priority seating. Become a member and get low prices on festival ticket packages before the general public! I cannot wait to check out some of these films. Which ones are you the most excited to see? 

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It List - March 2017

 

It's been a busy month at Realogics Sotheby's International Realty! This past weekend, our newest office, located in the heart of Madison Park, opened to the public. Park House is a stunning boutique showroom designed to be more than a full service real estate firm and was imagined as a space where the community can come together for featured lifestyle events. If you are in the area, I urge you to stop by and say hello! I would love to show you around. 

The long-awaited 2016/2017 Market Report has arrived! In this review of market activity in the Puget Sound, explore the markets in seven key counties of Western Washington State: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Skagit, Jefferson and Island counties.

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Last week, I attended the VIP Ground Breaking Reception for NEXUS, Seattle's most anticipated condominium community. It was a great time connecting with reservation holders and touring the finished space, including the full-scale, fully furnished model home! 

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Romantic Village in Santa Barbara  Perched on a crest with views of the ocean, harbor, and mountains, the secluded estate was designed and built in the 1930s by celebrated architect Wallace Frost. After living in Italy, Frost created the two-story, 10,500-square-foot residence for himself, emulating the classical style of 17th-century Italian villas and creating an air of Old World romance and refinement. Impeccable attention was paid to every detail: a classic barrel-tiled roof, terra-cotta surfaces, wide wood flooring planks, rustic exposed ceiling beams, 18th-century Italian tiles, vintage light fixtures, and sturdy walls of locally quarried stone. Offered at $45,000,000.

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I was recently interviewed by Seattle Refined on why taking a look at the East Village in downtown Seattle is a smart choice when considering a move as a downsizer. From saving money and building double equity to enjoying the all inclusive, luxury amenities of new condominium towers like NEXUS, see why the East Village is the best place for Seattle’s empty nesters.

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5227 55th Avenue NE, Seattle  Built in 2008, this stately home combines timeless traditional detailing with a floor plan that lives for today. Deep moldings, high ceilings, cypress paneled library, fantastic kitchen with butlers pantry, breakfast & family room. Did I forget to mention the backyard? French doors lead to a covered patio with a fireplace, outdoor saltwater pool and lavish, private garden. Four bedrooms up plus bonus & laundry. Nothing like this currently available in Seattle. Relaxed & refined luxury living. Offered at $4,300,000.

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6078 Moonrise Lane, Freeland  Moonrise Cottage is an easy living, private sanctuary at the end the lane. Sweeping views of the Sound, Mt. Rainier, shipping lanes and 4th of July fireworks displays! Luxurious kitchen/family room with AGA stove, walk-in pantry, easy connection to laundry room & a 2-car garage. The main living room boasts dramatic vaulted ceilings and a handsome central fireplace. Three sets of French doors open from the main floor to an over-sized entertaining deck. Offered at $1,195,000.

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Since the implementation of the 15% foreign investment tax in Vancouver, Chinese buyers have been rapidly moving their attention to the Seattle market. According to Juwai.com, "Searches for properties in Seattle more than doubled after the new tax went into effect in August, drawing more inquiries than any other American city and beating out past favorites Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Searches for Seattle on the site jumped by 125% in November."

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Strideline was started by Jake and Riley in 2009 while they were in high school with their graduation money. They started out as Seatown Lax as they were lacrosse players and named it after the sport. After the Skyline designs took over they changed their name to Strideline and can now be found in major retailers including Champs, Nordstrom, Lids, Macy's, Costco, and various others.

Strideline socks are worn by all athletes from the prep to pro level. Some notable athletes and names that wear Strideline socks include Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin, Antonio Brown, Nate Robinson, Thomas Robinson, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Lil' Wayne, DJ Khaled and others. The company resides in Eastlake and now has over 30 employees from sales staff, designers, operations, marketing, and much more.

A brand new addition to their brand includes the Strideline Guarantee. This guarantee states "If these aren't the most comfortable socks you've ever worn, call us at 206 734 6870 for a full refund. No questions asked."

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It List - February 2017

 

Seattle currently has the 2nd lowest rate of home sales in the United States. Sitting just below the sought-after city of San Francisco (and the outlying Oakland and Hayward areas), Seattle only has 1 out of every 263 homes for sale. Comparatively, Portland, OR currently has 1 out of every 170 homes available. This ranking has and will continue to create increased competition within the housing market.

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Condominium sales in downtown Seattle rose by 10.7% in January 2017 over the previous year while median home prices climbed by 47.9% and set a new benchmark at $668,000. An imbalance of supply and demand is also noted by properties spending fewer days on market, which dropped 55.9% from an average of 111 days in January 2016 to just 49 days last month.

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Never before has a residence been designed to fit the exact specifications desired by the future owners. This grand penthouse sits on the 35th floor of Waiea, the flagship building for the master planned community of Ward Village located in close proximity to Waikiki. This 6 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom residence sprawled over 8,532 sq. ft. features a spectacular rooftop lanai over 2,000 sq. ft. and your own private ocean facing infinity pool. Swim under the sky with perpetual 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Diamond Head, mountains and Waikiki. Seamless indoor and outdoor living on a single level. A dedicated elevator provides the utmost privacy and security. This is truly an unprecedented opportunity to create a unique and lasting legacy. Offered at $35,000,000.

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This Spring, for the second year in a row, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is sponsoring the publishing of the all-Mandarin magazine “Seattle Luxury Living”, which is catered to Chinese consumers in the Pacific Northwest as well as those seeking real estate and lifestyle opportunities throughout the Seattle metro area. Tiger Oak Media, owner of Seattle Magazine, Seattle Bride, and Seattle Business Magazine is the publisher and will include exclusive real estate content provided by RSIR along with featured listings, lifestyle editorial, and third-party advertisers.

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Last month, I attended the East Meets West meeting, hosted by Realogics Sotheby's International Realty's Asia Services Group and JayMarc Homes. It was an educational experience, as we discussed how the demand for real estate from foreign buyers has never been higher. In fact, it is predicted that this demand will double by 2025. China has become the dominant source of foreign direct investment in the United States, overtaking Canada in 2015 with $22B in home sales. The Seattle/Bellevue metro area is in a unique position and learning about foreign investment from experts was a refreshing perspective. 

It is clear that Canada's tax-policy changes are driving overseas investors south of the border - Seattle to be specific. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The tax policy is aimed at making homes in the city more affordable for local residents, who have seen prices soar by nearly 50% over the past three years. The city of Vancouver also introduced a separate vacancy tax of 1% on the assessed value of an empty property." Since these policies have taken affect, searches for Seattle properties in China have jumped 125% year-over-year. 

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On February 26th, the 400-acre gated community of The Highlands will be open to the public for escorted tours. Please contact me if you are interested in touring one of the 15 estates available for purchase.  

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Your comprehensive guide, take a peek at what’s going on! From Valentine's Brunch Cruise and the Flower and Garden Show at Fisher Pavilion, to Mindfulness Meditation at Chihuly Garden & Glass, here’s what’s happening around the sound this February.

EXPLORE EVENTS...

Perhaps many of you have taken advantage of the Town Hall Lecture Series, but it was new to me as of last year (the last to know perhaps!). I was introduced to this unique venue by my mother to listen to the famed New York Times columnist David Brooks as he had just published his latest book: The Road to Character. If you have not been there before, it is housed in a historic, beautiful  building on the corner of 8th & Seneca Street. There is also a little “pub” on the main floor to enjoy a glass of wine or coffee before or after a lecture. Prices are very affordable and the speakers are truly incredible. I have attached a link to the upcoming lecture series (sadly, Alec Baldwin’s is sold out already!). I hope that you might enjoy this special treasure in our community.

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It List - January 2017

 

Last month my brokerage, Realogics Sotheby's International Realty, was featured on Inman News in an article detailing its unique approach, market differentiation and record-breaking 2016 sales. RSIR has built a reputation for its outside-the-box marketing ideas and for having a global perspective. I am very proud to be affiliated with this industry-leading company and am excited to see what 2017 brings! 

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With the arrival of a new year, I enjoy looking back on the significant events that defined the industry I work in and my company. I am thankful for family, friends and colleagues who give my business a special meaning and inspire me to drive forward. For the first time in 2016, Realogics SIR crested past the $1 billion marker in home sales and joined an esteemed and established peer group of the largest real estate brands in Washington State. We also enjoyed a number of other industry leading accolades along the way. Learn about them below. 

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I am excited to bring you this month’s event calendar. Your comprehensive guide, take a peek at what’s going on! From Chinese New Year celebrations in the International District and a David Bowie Party at SIFF Cinema, to the Seattle Wedding Show at the Washington Convention Center, here’s what’s happening around the sound this January.

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My clients are truly the heart of my business. Hear from some of my past Broadmoor clients in this short film to learn about their experience working with me! 

WATCH THE VIDEO...

My IT pick for the month of January is a book that I read over the holiday…actually, I listened to it via Audible while I went on my walks. This was such a great, fun read. In the audio book version, it was fun because each character is narrated by a different person…so, you really get the feel for each character. The book reminded me of the book Gone Girl.  If you liked that, you will love this one!

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It List - December 2016

 

The Wealth-X Billionaire Census is the only comprehensive study of the global billionaire population, "providing unprecedented insight into the assets, lifestyle, motivations and social networks of the world's wealthiest individuals. This year's report details the life cycle of the average billionaire, from education and accumulation of wealth to philanthropy and transfer of wealth."

READ THE REPORT...

Since the tax on foreign property investors went into effect in Vancouver, real estate brokers in Seattle have been busy. "With Chinese investors - the largest pool of foreign capital - looking for a place to put their cash, the unintended consequence of the fee has been to push demand to cities such as Seattle and Toronto. For Vancouver investors, Seattle is a lure because it’s a waterfront city just a few hours away by car. It’s also more affordable than other West Coast destinations."

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Since the tax on foreign property investors went into effect in Vancouver, real estate brokers in Seattle have been busy. "With Chinese investors - the largest pool of foreign capital - looking for a place to put their cash, the unintended consequence of the fee has been to push demand to cities such as Seattle and Toronto. For Vancouver investors, Seattle is a lure because it’s a waterfront city just a few hours away by car. It’s also more affordable than other West Coast destinations."

READ MORE...

My clients are truly the heart of my business. Hear from some of my past clients in this short film to learn about their experience working with me! 

WATCH THE VIDEO...

Despite the increasingly high home prices around the Seattle metro area over the past few years, homebuyers still had one saving grace: very low interest rates. However, as mortgage rates quickly begin to climb, this safe haven is beginning to disappear; so much so that the Puget Sound region saw a 30% increase in home sales last month. 

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My December "It" Pick is this precious gem, located right in the heart of Madison Park - Scoop Du Jour. The owners are a father and son team (Mr. Washington Junior & Senior!), who have owned and operated “Scoop” for over 32 years. Their storefront has undergone a huge transformation and is now painted a rich dark navy blue. Inside, one still finds ample seating and a TV for watching…cozy & comforting. When I asked what their best seller was, Mr. Washington Junior quickly replied “our Scoop Burger” followed by anything chocolate in the ice cream world (Vanilla Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie Swirl - are you kidding me!). So happy to have this treasured neighborhood eatery open for business again!

It List - November 2016

 

2307 43rd Avenue East, Seattle | One of 3 private residences with unparalleled views of Lake Washington, seductive custom designed interiors, a private rooftop deck with BBQ, hot tub, re-pit and multiple entertaining spaces with top-of-the-world vistas! Oh yes…an unheard of, 4 secure parking spaces in the private garage. A sophisticated lock & leave luxury residence! Offered at $3,150,000.

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Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty was recognized by The Puget Sound Business Journal among the top 100 “Fastest Growing Private Companies” in Washington State, according to their 2016 Book of Lists, for the fifth year in a row! I am thrilled to be a part of such an innovative company. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings! 

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a preview of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty's new Bainbridge Island branch, “Island Living Gallery” at 240 Winslow Way East. Occupying approximately one half of the Old Hardware Store – a nostalgic icon of Bainbridge Island heritage built in 1948 – our global real estate brand is poised for growth. RSIR will collaborate with the adjoining restaurant and bar Bruciato, operated by famed chef and Bainbridge Island resident Brendan McGill of Hitchcock, which is set to open by the end of the year. A public grand opening celebration will take place in the New Year. To hear more about upcoming events, please contact me directly!

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The battle for most expensive housing market outside of California has been a close one for the past few months between Seattle and Boston. We finally overtook our Northeast counterpart last month, when the median home value in the Seattle metro area hit $401,000.

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Last Thursday, I hosted a private event at my home for top Seattle Realogics SIR brokers to celebrate the upcoming opening of the Madison Park Office, Park House. It was a great opportunity to connect with top brokers, including Regional VP of Sotheby's International Realty, Cal Lyford. From a champagne toast and delicious bites by Belle Epicurian to brainstorming business ideas for the coming year, a great time was had by all. We even got a sneak peak of office renderings, including the very sophisticated interior design work. I truly cannot wait to bring my clients to this jewel box of an office!

I love TED Talks. The company embraces the global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. This month listen to Sal Khan, a hedge fund analyst who believes that the education system should be focused on helping students master subjects, not just score highly on standardized tests. "Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven't always grasped the basics?" Listen to how Khan plans to take this complicated subject and turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace.”

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It List - October 2016

 

2000 38th Avenue E, Seattle | Distinguished brick stairways & manicured hedges surround Canterbury Cottage, a tasteful, shingled hideaway nestled in the heart of Madison Park. The perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, the shingled home evokes the feeling of a charming New England village. Open the door to relaxed elegance and exquisite finishes, where the formal living space leads out toward a front terrace perfect for a morning cup of coffee or peaceful evening. Offered at $2,275,000.

READ MORE >>  |  WATCH THE VIDEO >>

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty announced earlier this month an exclusive partnership with GeekWire, a fast-growing and broadly followed website that has become a daily news source and events podium for the high-tech industry in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The dynamic platform will showcase properties, highlight market trends and feature real estate sponsors. A real time voting tool puts consumers in the driver’s seat to select the current “Geek Home of the Week” as more than 1 million unique visitors per month visit the website and 25,000 active subscribers digest the daily newsletter.

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"We have had the pleasure of working with Laura on two separate transactions over the years. She has represented us as buyer and seller. She is a consummate professional. She is knowledgeable about the market, has access to innovative marketing strategies, is articulate and a good listener. Laura takes great pride in her work and it shows. If she sees a potential problem, she is quick to assess it and find a satisfactory solution. We heartily recommend her. She has done an excellent job on our behalf."

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Another recent sale of mine was featured in Realogics Sotheby’s Realty’s Q3 Market Report. This home, also in Broadmoor, sold for $6,150,000 with multiple offers, setting a new price per square foot record, part of a trend showing that median home prices in single-family neighborhoods around Seattle are establishing new benchmark levels exceeding their prior peak in 2007.

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I am thrilled to share that Realogics Sotheby's International Realty made the annual Puget Sound Business Journal list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies for the fifth year in a row! In a recent article entitled “100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies pack economic wallop,” Becky Monk reveals that “the 100 companies that made the Business Journal’s 2016 list collectively had revenue of nearly $3.17 billion in 2015, an increase of 137.26 percent over their total revenue in 2013.”

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Join our collection of lifestyle partners during this unparalleled property tour for brokers and prospective home buyers in collaboration with the Savor the San Juans experience happening now. The property tour is fully hosted with ground transportation and yacht transfers between the waterfront estates during the broker tour day on October 5th and viewings and transfers are by appointment for prospective buyers on October 8th and 9th.

RSVPs REQUIRED: REGISTER HERE >>

Just one day after it went live on the market, Seattle’s Escala penthouse (which served as inspiration for the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy) sold. The luxury condominium, listed by Realogics Sotheby's International Realty, garnered local media attention both for its role in E.L. James’ pop-culture phenomenon and for selling in less than 1 day on the market.

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In a recent re-cap of the most notable sales in the Seattle area for Curbed Seattle, Sean Keeley writes that the week's “biggest sale,” my client's Broadmoor Georgian Colonial, “spent all of two days on the market before going pending” at $3.6 million. As Keeley writes, “if you were asking someone what the houses in Broadmoor are like, you could probably just point them in the direction of this place and say, ‘That.’”

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For October's "It" Pick, I decided to feature Peel Tech, a company that prides itself on providing in-house tech support without the technical difficulty. In an age that focuses so much on the latest technology, I very much appreciate this philosophy! Working on almost all platforms, devices and brands, Peel Tech offers concierge-style support for all of your personal, home and small business technology challenges. According to a recent Seattle Times article, "For consumers, Peel Tech will come out and fix a technical problem for $80 an hour. The startup also provides services to small businesses for $90 to $120 an hour. Peel Tech has formed partnerships with a few retirement communities to help residents any time they need it." So, if you are looking for reliable tech support in the Seattle area, I would highly suggest this fabulous startup company! 

READ FULL FEATURE IN THE SEATTLE TIMES >>