Capitol Hill – Real Estate Report November 2017

The Seattle real estate market remains one of the hottest markets in the nation! The weather may have cooled down but the market is still hot. The desirable neighborhood, Capitol Hill, has shown great growth since November 2016.

Sold by Ewing and Clark in May 2017

The median sales price for a home has gone up from $749,950 to $1,267,500. There was only one more sale than November 2016. The highest price for a home last month was $2,425,000 and the lowest was recorded as $735,000. The average sold price for a residential home in the Capitol Hill/North Capitol Hill area was $1,355,875.

Sold by Ewing and Clark in May 2017

Condominiums have also shown a jump in sales. There was 30 condos sold in the area last month, compared to 22 in November 2016. The median price for a condo in the Capitol Hill area was $527,500. The average sales price increased from $570,814 (11/16) to $699,767 (11/17).

There are currently 24 active listings and 24 pending.

 

Fall Into Weekend Fun At The Annual Fall Polish Bazaar!

Looking for a fun way to spend your weekend? Look no further than the Annual Fall Polish Bazaar!

A blend of culture, delicious traditional food, and eclectic crafts, this event is an immersive and authentic Polish experience.

The Annual Fall Polish Bazaar has been presented by the Seattle Polish Cultural Center for over 50 years, and since then has been one of the largest and strongest fund-raising events for them, as well as fun for the community!

This year’s event will be a full weekend of yummy Polish delicacies, entertainment and lots of opportunities to get a jump on holiday shopping (yes, please!).

From the Facebook page

Join us for Annual Fall Polish Bazaar – two days of delicious food, shopping, and entertainment! 

Delicious dinners of pickle soup, borscht, pierogi, Polish sausage, cabbage Rolls and Polish beer served all day.

Delectable pastries, as well as coffee /tea, are at the dessert booths.
Take-home dinners and sweets available.

Upstairs features an excellent selection of amber, books, crafts, Polish crystal, Boleslawiec pottery, Christmas ornaments and wafers (oplatki) and more!

Polish Choir Vivat Musica! sings Saturday at 2:30pm.

 

This event is family friendly and a fun and interesting way to spend your weekend.

Explore a new culture or get to know your own a little better! Take a trip overseas without leaving Seattle! Eat delicious perogies and Polish Sausages that will put Costco’s to shame!

There are many reasons to check out the Annual Fall Polish Bazaar, but just in case, did we mention there will Polish beer served too? YUM!

The Annual Fall Polish Festival will be this Saturday and Sunday, November 4th & 5th from 12 PM to 6 PM at 1714 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, the Home of Dom Polski and the Seattle Polish Cultural Center.
This year’s event has been organized and is possible thanks to the hard work of  Koło Pań/Polish Women’s Club.

Help make this year’s fund-raiser a success and have fun doing it!

Jedz, pij i wesoły!
(Eat, drink and be merry!)

Consider The School District When Buying

As you begin your home search, there are plenty of things you already know to factor in the decision: price, neighborhood attributes,  beds and baths, square footage, and proximity to work. But have you considered looking into which school districts are round the neighborhood you’re searching? In Seattle as we know many new homeowners aren’t planning on having children anytime soon or maybe not at all, but this doesn’t mean that you should cast the school district factor aside; even if you do not have children or do not plan to, the quality of education nearby can greatly affect how much you pay for your home, and how much you can expect to sell it for in the future. You’ll pay more for your home if it is within a good school district. Parents of school age children are always searching for high school ratings, and often will pay more to live in a zoned neighborhood within a highly rated district. A good school district can also protect you from the ups and downs of the real estate market; even in an unpredictable market, a home in a great school district will likely see nearby home values staying consistent or above the median. This will protect you when it comes time for the resale, and although there are no guarantees, you can rest assured parents will always be looking to move to the best neighborhoods with the top schools. For more information on Seattle real estate, please contact your local agent today.

Check out our “Neighborhood Schools” tab above for more information on the schools in the Capitol Hill neighborhood!

Medieval Meets Modern

The Anhalt Apartments historic exterior.   Photo: Anhalt Apartments

Have you wondered why there’s a mini castle at the corner of 16th and East John Street in Capitol Hill? Being such a young city compared to those located out east, Seattle doesn’t have as many historic apartment buildings. But two years ago, the Anhalt Apartments at this location won a Preserving Neighborhood Character award. This was due to the building, originally built in 1931, getting a complete overhaul while preserving certain aspects of its history. The exterior features of the brick building, such as the courtyard and turreted entryway, and interior public spaces such as the spiral staircase, maintain the original late medieval/English Tudor character and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 24 apartment interiors themselves were revamped to now meet today’s modern style. Another new, thoroughly modern building was also built in the space behind the original building to house 15 more apartment dwellers, and includes limited underground parking. (Helpful when living in a high-density area.)

Historic stairwell in entryway. Photo: Anhalt Apartments

Over 80 years ago, Fred Anhalt, a previous butcher turned designer & builder, moved from Minnesota and built a number of these castle-like structures in Seattle before the big Great Depression hit. He had wanted his multi-family rental units to really feel like a home, so included aspects such as privacy and a sense of community, and great amenities such as fireplaces, soundproofing, hand-carved wood detail, even electric dishwashers—highly unusual back then. This Anhalt Apartment building was an example of his mature work, being the 2nd to last building he completed before the economic downturn ended his company. Seattle’s AIA (American Institute of Architects) chapter posthumously awarded Mr. Anhalt an honorary membership because of his excellent residential design. The Seattle Times also ranked him among the 150 most influential people in Seattle’s history.

Two of Anhalt Historic’s remodelled rooms. Photo: Anhalt Apartments

For 40 years, the Group Health company occupied the building after that, having completely gutted the interior for conversion into offices. Then the building sat vacant for 6 years until bought and converted back to 1-2 bedroom rentals during the renovation.

Exterior and interior of Anhalt Modern building, located behind Anhalt Historic.  Photo: Anhalt Apartments

So if you’ve wondered why there are people living in a castle in your neighborhood… well, now you know.

Anhalt Historic & Modern:
https://www.facebook.com/anhaltapartments/
http://anhaltapartments.com/

 

Capitol Hill Real Estate Report – July 2017

 

Past Sold Listing in Capitol Hill

Just like Seattle’s weather the real estate market in Capitol Hill continues to stay hot. There were 23 single-family homes sold last month and 38 condos. The average list price for a single-family home climbed from $975,595 (7/2016) to $1,052,900 (7/2017). The highest cost for a home jumped from $1,925,000 (2016) to $2,550,000 (2017), the lowest as also spiked from $500,000 to $645,000. There are currently 17 active listings and 24 pending.

Past Sold Listing in Capitol Hill

Condos have also shown growth in the Capitol Hill, Seattle area. The average list price for a condo in the Capitol Hill neighborhood has jumped from $432,094 in July of 2016 to $533,034 this past month (July 2017). The highest sold price was $3,050,000, $1.45 million more than July 2016. The median price for a condo has gone up from $392,000 to $510,000. There are currently 12 active listing and 34 pending.

 

The Greenest Commercial Building on Earth

The Bullitt Center, the world’s only fully self-sustained office building.  Photo: Joe Mabel

To be called the world’s greenest office building is no easy feat, but the 6-story Bullitt Center at 1501 East Madison Street between Capitol Hill and the Central District has attained that status. Completed in 2013, it has won numerous environmental awards and received much media coverage since then, due to being completely self-sustaining, like a forest, thus not contributing to global warming. It’s considered a “Living Building”, mimicking how nature reuses, stores, and filters materials in a productive way. The Bullitt Center was built to last 250 years, and is so effective at generating energy that it has an excess during the summer months.

Created as part of the Living Building Challenge, this building produces its own energy through solar panels on the roof, processing its own rainwater for reuse, composting toilets, a bike garage + showers, rare triple-pane windows, completely non-toxic and locally-sourced building materials, automatic blinds adjustment according to sun position, heat pumps processing at 400 feet below the soil, and lots of natural light and wood throughout. The building is purposely situated near various public transit and has the best walking score possible: 100 out of 100. Tenants are given an energy allotment according to how much space (ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 square feet) they occupy in the building. If they stay within those parameters, they receive a financial incentive at the end of the year.

Denis Hayes, who has an incredible environmental resume (including being the organizer for the very first Earth Day in the 1970s, then bringing it to the global stage) is now president of the Bullitt Foundation, which owns the building. In critical upcoming years, as urban populations continue to grow, Hayes hopes that the Bullitt Center will serve as an example of what’s possible, and will promote future construction of other living, sustainable buildings.

Photo: Joe Mabel

Capitol Hill Block Party 2017 Survival Guide

Ready your pump-up playlist and finalize your stage-hopping itinerary, because Capitol Hill’s favorite neighborhood music festival returns from July 21 to 23! The 21st annual Capitol Hill Block Party will span 6 blocks, 5 stages, 3 days, and will feature sets from more than 100 artists.

Approaching the weekend with a plan of action is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. So round up your fellow festival-goers, dust off your dancing shoes, and prepare to take some notes!

Know before you go

First things first: if you don’t already have your ticket, purchase it now to get in on the action before potentially getting bumped with the dreaded “sold out” message. Ticket options include the following:

  • 3-day pass ($150 for general admission or $300 for VIP)
  • 2-day pass (select your preferred combination of days for $110)
  • Single day pass (select Friday, Saturday, or Sunday for $60)

Ticket acquired? Have it with you when gates open at 3 p.m. on Friday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Shows run all day and into late evening, and performance times vary by stage and artist. The Main Stage and Vera Stage, both located outdoors, are each open to all ages, while the Neumos, Barboza, and Cha Cha Stages are exclusively 21 and over. Though attendees are encouraged to explore a variety of shows and discover new favorites, for starters, let’s review some of the standout Main Stage headliners to guide you along as you decide which shows to attend:

Friday:

Thundercat | 6:30 – 7:15
You’ve got to see the bass guitar wizard live and in-person to understand just how deep the funk runs. Thundercat is currently touring in support of his third and latest album, “Drunk.”

Wolf Parade | 9:15 – 10:15
The early 2000s Canadian indie rockers are back in the game after a 5-year hiatus. Witness the reunion for yourself at the Main Stage.

Run the Jewels | 10:45 – midnight
El-P and Killer Mike are truly a duo to be reckoned with. Get pumped with some late-night hip-hop from the pair that has brought you three full-length albums and a gift like no other: “Meow the Jewels,” the fantastically feline remix.

Saturday:

Manatee Commune | 4:45 – 5:30
Bellingham’s own Grant Eadie has been killing the festival game this year, and continues the streak onward and upward from Sasquatch. If you’re not already familiar with his up-and-coming electronic-chillwave sounds, seize this opportunity.

Whitney | 6 – 7
Led by former Smith Westerns guitarist and Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer, Whitney’s debut “Light Upon the Lake” remains the perfect summer soundtrack.

Lord Huron | 10:30 – midnight
Upbeat indie folk meets the summer evening air on the Main Stage.

Sunday:

Cloud Nothings | 3:45 – 4:30
Post-punk noise pop sparks up an afternoon party atmosphere.

Angel Olsen | 8 – 9
Angel’s angelic chops make everything from her folksy singer-songwriter reflections to her crooner-rocker anthems a joy to experience from below the stage.

Diplo | 9:45 – 11
Close out a killer weekend with electronic beats from Diplo himself.

Don’t miss out on your personal must-see shows — check out the complete CHBP lineup and schedule.

Finally, get up to speed with these bite-sized vitals:

  • Restrooms: Other than limited capacity restrooms located at some indoor venues, be prepared to use a porta potty (and to stand in potential bathroom lines).
  • Pets: Leave them safe and sound at home.
  • Transportation: Avoid the inevitable parking nightmare — leave your personal car behind and carry change to hop a city bus, use a Car2Go to access the convenient onsite CHBP drop-off zone, call a Lyft or Uber (but be prepared for possible surge pricing), or just walk to the entrance points at 12th and Pike or 10th and Pine. Bikes will not be allowed on festival grounds.
  • Weather: The event will take place rain or shine. At the time of publication, the current projected Seattle weather forecast calls for temperatures in the low- to mid-70s, light winds, clouds with a 20% chance of rain on Friday, and sunshine with a 10% chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Restricted items: Review the list of what you can and cannot bring into the festival (bags will be checked upon entry).

Enjoy yourself on festival weekend

Ensure you have the best time possible. Start with these five basic tips.

1. Stay hydrated

Should you become dehydrated, you’re gonna have a bad time. Dehydration is especially accelerated in the heat and sun, and since Block Party is a largely outdoor summer event, remaining hydrated is going to require some vigilance. While glass and full, unsealed bottles cannot be brought into the festival, bring an empty reusable water bottle (you can fill it inside the festival) or an unopened, safety-sealed water bottle (which you can also refill on festival grounds once you finish its contents… and recycle should you no longer need it). The key is to continue hydrating throughout the day and evening — especially if you plan on drinking (alcohol is dehydrating), dancing (dehydrating), or otherwise enjoying yourself (moral of the story: you’re gonna want to hydrate no matter what).

2. Don’t party on an empty stomach

Drinking on an empty stomach is not only unsafe — it’s also a nearly surefire way to end up with a hangover and hinder your Block Party experience (or worse, confine you to bedrest at home). Fortunately, you’ll find a wide variety of food (and drink) options within the festival grounds.

Start the day with a cold brew or other iced coffee drink at Caffe Vita or Capitol Coffee Works, grab some lunchtime tacos at Rancho Bravo or a hearty Caribbean Roast sandwich at Paseo, or cool off with a decadent scoop at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. Alternately, browse the Food Truck Rally just north of Pike Street. Don’t wait until you’re already running on empty to seek out food — lines get long on CHBP weekend (especially during peak dining times).

Once you’re properly fueled and ready to party (age and valid ID permitting), just head to the beer garden or any of several bars within festival grounds (including the wacky Unicorn, popular Purr Cocktail Lounge, and many more).

3. Dress for comfort

While you’ll surely want to don your most stylish gear, make sure it stands up to the comfort test. Since you’ll likely be walking, standing, or dancing all day and into the night, start with a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. Dress in summer-appropriate layers (just bring a small backpack so you don’t lose your favorite light sweater). If you have sensitive ears, make a discreet pair of earplugs an essential part of your ensemble.

4. Remember sun protection

Sunblock is a Block Party-approved item, so make sure to have your SPF 30 (or higher) in your bag all weekend. Re-apply all over every two hours at minimum. Boost your sun protection to the next level with your favorite stylish hat.

5. Stay safe

Above all, having fun is about staying safe. Though security staff will be stationed onsite for crowd control, it’s always wise to remain aware of your surroundings, especially at a packed event like Block Party. Grab a festival map so you know your way around (including where the nearest exits and entrances are located), make sure your phone is fully charged to keep in touch with your group, and if you’re not familiar with this area of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, use the buddy system in case you become separated. As always, if you experience or witness an emergency, call 911.

Happy Block Party, Capitol Hill!

Featured image courtesy of The Capitol Hill Block Party via Facebook

Tips for Spring Sellers!

 

The flowers are starting to bud, and the sun is peaking through the clouds (on some days); Spring is in the air and For Sale signs are emerging around Seattle. How do you stay ahead of the game? As the housing market begins to heat up, sellers can take these extra steps to help stand out among the rest. At first glance, potential buyers are scrutinizing your property before they even step foot in the door, and having a clean entrance and yard can make a big difference for first impressions.  Adding a beautiful potted plant to the front porch, or staining the front deck could be relatively small projects that could add generous appeal to your home.

Staging your home is another great way to entice buyers to choose your home. Hiring professionals to arrange your home to appeal to a broad array of buyers could be the difference between a buyer choosing your home, or choosing one just down the street. Removing personal belongings helps buyers envision themselves living on the property- not you. Also remember to give your home a good cleaning before showings; a clean home feels bigger and more inviting.

For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Cold Treats And Warm Hearts At Seattle’s Gelatiamo

Is it ever too cold for ice cream? Honestly, it seems very hard to imagine a scenario in which a delicious, creamy scoop (or two…or three!) of icy cold sweetness doesn’t sound like the perfect treat. Whether you’ve worked hard all week (or day), just finished a terrific workout (it’s called balance, right?!) or the mood just strikes, ice cream is a fabulous choice for a little indulgence, and one most folks can agree on. That is, until you meet ice creams’, intense, delicious and downright beautiful Italian cousin, gelato.

By now, gelato is not a totally unfamiliar word in people’s vocabularies stateside, but many have not actually tried the heavenly concoction, or if they have, they’ve usually purchased it from a grocer’s freezer aisle (no disrespect, but pre-packaged is never as good as fresh, no matter what food you’re talking about). Lucky for us Seattle-ites, we have authentic, amazing, life-changing Italian gelato, homemade, from scratch, DAILY, within reach.

 

Gelatiamo. The name alone indicates the deep love and passion for the art of gelato owner Maria brings to her craft. (if you can’t tell, it’s a combination of the word gelato and “ti amo”, Italian for “I Love You”) One taste of this frozen flavor symphony will have you hooked and likely, in love.

 

Located in a cozy corner space on 3rd and Union, nearby to Benaroya Hall and Tom Douglas’ Wild Ginger, Gelatiamo is a delightfully charming space, manned (or wo-manned) by an equally charming and delightful staff. You are welcomed upon entry with a ’hello’ and a smile warm enough to melt the frozen treats you came for by the lovely staff, eager to help you find your flavor. The environment is very warm and comforting, with a very European vibe, plenty of windows for wonderful natural light, accents of dark wood and charming black and white photographs of the owner hard at work gracing the walls. It’s a very soothing and welcoming space.  
One look around the place will give the sweet-loving indecisive types among us anxiety- the choices are plentiful…and not limited to gelato.  It seems Gelatiamo caters to almost any sweet tooth, offering fabulous baked goods baked in the Italian tradition, including many specialty Italian dessert favorites not common in most bakeries, along with their signature gelato-cakes (much more elegant and delicious than anything from carvel!), and of course, a wide array of gelato.
Every item they serve is handmade daily, from scratch, in house (you can even see the stairs leading down the where the magic happens) from the owners own recipes and recipes that have been in her family for generations. You can taste the years of work, time and dedication that have gone into perfecting not only her gelato, but her cannoli, available filled with traditional custard or chocolate, her Saint Honoré, a traditional Italian cake unlike any you’ll find most places stateside, and at holiday time, her renowned and acclaimed panettone.
Gelatiamos’ owner Maria Coassin began planting her roots in the Seattle food scene back in 1996 when she first opened Gelatiamos’ doors. The only member of her family to have left Italy, she comes from a long line of bakers, with her family having bakeries in northern Italy dating back over 200 years. As a youngster, she saw the demanding life of being a baker, especially the long hours and early mornings, and decided that life was not for her. After marrying an American and moving to the US, she eventually settled in Seattle, and decided it was time to bring her lifelong love of gelato with her.
She knew she had her work cut out for her. Gelato was still relatively unfamiliar to many in the US and what we did have available in the states, was not very good. Maria decided to travel back to Italy to learn the craft the best way possible, from the masters. She spent several months in Italy, taking classes and being mentored by gelato master Pino Scaringelle. It is thanks in no small part to Mr. Scaringelle that Maria does more than just ‘make gelato’, she creates recipes, which is vital to truly well done gelato.
The first winter she opened for business, her father came to visit, bringing with him several family recipes from their long-standing bakery business. Even though Maria insisted Gelatiamo was NOT a bakery, he decided to make some baked goods to sell, including what has now become their famous and hotly sought after panettone. Ever since, the baking component of the business stuck (and we should all be grateful for that!).
Today, Gelatiamo has been a staple of Seattle’s ever growing restaurant scene for 21 years. That’s 21 years of making and serving gelato, baked goods and expertly brewed coffee to Seattle’s increasingly discerning public. Maria is well known and hailed for her incredible baked goods and is considered a gelato master. She travels several times a year to teach others the art of crafting recipes and other essential skills to making truly exceptional gelato.
In 21 years, they’ve never moved, though their location on 3rd and Union has undergone some cosmetic changes in recent years, improving and maintaining the classic elegance of the space Maria has envisioned and established from the start, and transporting her guests, if only for a moment, back to her original home of Italy.
Gelatiamo has a little something for everyone and is truly a gem we in Seattle are lucky enough to claim. If you’ve ever wandered the busy streets of Seattle on a brisk March day and dreamed of that perfect trip to Italy (you know, the one you can’t quite afford yet), consider popping into Gelatiamo for a little something sweet and a perfectly brewed Café Latte. You’ll almost never know the difference.

JOSEPHINE: Homemade Takeout Food

Traci, Josephine cook, prepares to roast brussel sprouts with preserved lemon.                                 Video: Rustic studio in L.A. /posted on Josephine site

A made-in-the-kitchen small business revolution is occurring in Capitol Hill and neighborhoods across Seattle. Josephine, an Oakland, CA-based startup which recently expanded to Seattle in 2016, believes in empowering home chefs to reach their local community, while supplying good meals to neighbors. This blog post happened because of a glowing comment from a current Josephine customer, Jordan L., in Capitol Hill. He enthusiastically recommended their service (see his referral below).

From customer Jordan L.

The two who started this business, Charley and Tal, named it after meeting initially at the warm, welcome home of a mutual friend’s mother Josephine, who invited them over regularly. This spawned discussions over meals about the value of home-cooking and whether we were losing that connection in our world.

 

A reoccurring comment about the Josephine service is that it connects neighbors to other neighbors; sometimes people you wouldn’t meet in your day-to-day, busy life. Customers come pick their food up in a chef’s warm, welcome (and safety-certified) kitchen, after signing up for free at the Josephine site.  After entering your zip code on the site, you will be able to see where chefs are located in your area. Once a week, members receive a newsletter showing the week’s food offerings from different kitchens, and how far they are away from your location.

Weekly Food Offerings near Capitol Hill (varies weekly). Photo: Josephine

This method requires meal planning on your part, since it’s not a delivery service, but many people say the homemade food quality is excellent. Chefs often have repeat customers. The choices are vast: ethnic dishes (that might not be available at restaurants in that neighborhood), vegan, gluten-free, baked goods and American comfort food, to name a few.

Community at cook Akiko’s home. Photo: Josephine / The Seattle Times

“We provide healthy food options, where the money stays in the community,” says Simone Stolzoff, Director of Communications, at Josephine. “You can buy food that reflects individual cooks’ culture; the most authentic representation of what they would feed to their own families.” Dishes are served a la carte, and cooks set their own prices, typically ranging between $8-12 per full meal, according to Stolzoff. In the Seattle area, including Capitol Hill, the local network extends as far north as Lynnwood and as far south as Tacoma.

Cook Shui Zhu’s creations. Photo: The Seattle Times / Josephine

Those approved to cook for Josephine decide what they want to cook and how often, and carry a WA food handlers licence as certification. They pass a safety inspection from Josephine, and two Masters of Public Health are on staff to check-in with new cooks before ever posting their offerings. Mark Bittman, of PBS and cookbook fame, also sits on Josephine’s board. Small business owners receive 90% of the revenue, while 10% goes to Josephine for maintaining the website, marketing home cooks’ meals, and creating a credit payment process for them.

It isn’t always smooth sailing. Although meeting standards for food safety, they have run into problems with government regulation, previously receiving “Cease-and-Desist” orders in California. But legislation continues to be developed and proposed.

A May 19th, 2016 NPR article mentions that Willard Middle School in Berkeley, Calif., has a student-run operation (with supervision) which has partnered with Josephine for the past 3 years. To date, it has brought in over $100,000 in revenue to the school, and is very popular with the locals.

Willard Middle School uses the produce from its school garden to create meals through Josephine.  Photo: Teresa Chin/Youth Radio on NPR.org

As Simone Stolzoff commented upon Josephine’s mission, “More than anything, it’s about connecting people and bringing them together.