Tag Archives: neighborhood

Neighborhood Reviews – What Are They?

You’re buying a house, but you’re also buying into a neighborhood. You hire an inspector to check out the house before you buy it, but what about the neighborhood? The Neighborhood Review is your opportunity to inspect the neighborhood as well.

A Neighborhood Review can be written into the contract to buy a home. In that case, it states you have X number of days to review the neighborhood and if you are not happy with it, you have the right to get out of your contract. The language reads:


However, in a competitive market, including a Neighborhood Review contingency may make your offer less competitive. I always recommend to clients that they conduct a Neighborhood Review, but they may need to do the research before submitting the offer.

What does a Neighborhood Review entail? It’s really up to you. What’s important to you about where you live? Crime rates or quality of schools, traffic or availability of public transportation, proximity to medical centers or retail areas, environmental issues such as electrical substations? These are all items you may want to research.

One of the best ways to learn about a neighborhood is to spend time there, both during the day and in the evening. Knock on doors and meet your prospective neighbors; ask them questions about what the neighborhood is like.

Below is a list of some places you can learn more, but you might have other ideas as well. If you do, let me know and I’ll add them to the list for other buyers to use.



Public Transportation:

Neighborhood Amenities:

  • http://www.walkscore.com/ (Walk Score)
  • Many neighborhoods have blogs. Just google that neighborhood name and the word “blog.”
  • Explore the neighborhood yourself.
  • There are many other websites for checking out amenities—for example, Yelp. Google (or your favorite search engine) is a great way to start.

CCRs and Covenants: Many neighborhoods, housing developments, and condominiums have CCRs or Covenants that list rules such as parking of RVs, exterior paint colors, who is responsible for driveway maintenance, etc. This is also true for items such as shared driveways and townhome roofs. Sometimes you’ll find these covenants and easements in the preliminary title, other times it may be in the homeowner association documents.




Seattle Market Update

The Puget Sound housing market picked up in May with greater inventory, but demand is still very high. Most new listings are receiving multiple offers with many significantly escalating above list price.

The chart above shows activity in the city of Seattle for single family homes and condos combined. The number of homes for sale increased 14.3% over April, but the level was slightly below that of a year ago. The number of sales closing was up 4.4% over April but down 12% from a year ago.

While less homes are selling, prices are up over last year. Combined single family homes and condos in Seattle are up 4.4% over a year ago. On average homes sold at 100% of list price.

Inventory remains extremely low, at 1.4 months worth in May. That is, if no homes came on the market, the current inventory would be gone in about 6 weeks. In May last year that inventory was at 1.2 months.

However, when you look at specific neighborhoods, the numbers can be dramatically different. For example, Wallingford, a high demand neighborhood. Prices on sold homes and condos were up 8.2% from a year ago, with an average sales price of $620,000. Homes in Wallingford average a sales price of 105% of listing price. And inventory in Wallingford was at 0.7 months in May, approximately 3 weeks worth.

For further information, please give me a call or email. I’m happy to provide you with a market update for your neighborhood or city.

New to the Market in Phinney Ridge

736 N 70th St.On Wednesday I told you it was coming – so here it is. I’ve brought on a listing in Seattle’s hottest neighborhood Phinney Ridge. One and half blocks to Green Lake for outdoor activities, two blocks to the P-Patch, a half mile to the Zoo, and just 3 blocks to the all the retail and restaurants of Phinney Ridge – Red Mill Burgers, Starbucks, Ken’s Market, Greenwood Hardware, Umpqua Bank, and so many more local small businesses. Plus you’re just blocks from the Phinney Neighborhood Association which hosts the Farmer’s Market, numerous community building events, classes, a pre-school, and much more.

This home, at 736 N. 70th St., offers 3 bedrooms on the upper floor, 1.75 bathrooms, an additional room on the main that could be a 4th bedroom, family room, or home office. Southern exposure brings you lots of natural light, with a peek-a-boo view of Mt. Rainier from upstairs. A level, grassy, fully fenced backyard is perfect for your pooch to run around in, as well as for summer barbecues, croquet, and all-around fun. On the lower level you even have a working sauna in which to unwind at the end of the day.

Check out the home online, download the home flyer, or give me a call at 206-790-0081 or an email for more information or a private showing. List price: $549,000 and offers will be reviewed on June 13, 2014.