Kirkland, WA Real Estate News

By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
The new face of JuanitaBy Greg Perry, Kirkland WA RealtorKirkland WA Real EstateOf all the eastside areas, Juanita, just north of downtown Kirkland has undergone perhaps the greatest transformation.  Just a few short years ago, Juanita really had no identity.  Dominated by a very old and somewhat ugly strip mall and vacant lot, the area was quite unattractive.  A "European Village" idea was created for Juanita Village, a mixed use commercial and residential area in the heart of Juanita.  Here resident's basic needs are met for both goods and services.  Nearby, Juanita Beach Park has been recently taken over by the City of Kirkland.  Little league baseball fields, tennis courts and expansive grass play-fields serve area residents.Greg Perry Kirkland Realtorgregperry@working-for-you.com
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Kirkland drivers will enjoy improvements in April     By Greg Perry Kirkland Realtor    Kirkland WA real estate We have good news for Kirkland drivers next month. If the weather cooperates, we plan to: Reopen the intersection of 116th Avenue NE and NE 128th Street Open the new NE 128th Street bridge Remove the southbound I-405 HOV lane crossover (pdf 185 kb) between NE 124th and NE 116th Open the new HOV direct access ramps on the south side of the NE 128th Street bridge We expect to complete all our freeway work in the north end of Kirkland this fall. The improvements should help ease congestion, reduce collisions and make commute times more reliable. For detailed information and updates, please visit the Totem Lake Freeway Station Project and Kirkland Nickel Project Web pages. Crews d...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Greg Perry Not a glamorous subject.  Sewers and septics.  Yet without proper waste disposal, what would our home ownership experience look like?    After we turn the flush lever, we don't even want to think about what happens....we just want it to go away.  For our forefathers, their image of home included that little old shack out back with the 1/2 moon.  Deluxe accommodations were a 2 holer and a sears catalog.Before purchasing a home, you should have an "as built" (map of the septic and drain-field system).  As-builts can be acquired at the King County Health Department.  The as-built will also tell you how many bedrooms the septic tank is rated for.  Your purchase and sale contract should include a septic tank pumping and inspection and an inspection of the drain-field.  Septic tank...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Top 10 We show LOTS of Eastside homes.  LOTS!  We're with your Buyers, Mr. and Mrs. Seller.  We see what they see and hear what they say to us afterward.  Here's our "Letterman" style Top 10 Most Offensive Buyer Turn Offs list.10.  The street jungle (or is there a house behind the shrubs???) -- If we need a machete to get to your front door, your house automatically becomes unkempt in the mind of the Buyer.  And what about your weed yard?  Not to mention your kids trikes and bikes lying all over.  If you're too busy, hire someone to take care of your front yard.  You'll make more money and have a quicker sale.9.  The nasty front door -- Sure your door is de-laminating and the paint is peeling, but it still works!  And what about your worn, rusty door knob.  The best one of all is your i...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Fixing the Kirkland crawl (WSDOT Kirkland Nickel project)  Driving  on I 405 at any time during the day, especially during commute times, can be aggrevating for sure.  There are several "bottlenecks" that can back traffic for miles.  One of the most aggrevating is the "Kirkland crawl", between Hyw 522 and NE 85th.  In 2006, the WSDOT started the Kirkland Nickel project to widen the freeway between NE 124th and NE 85th, and the Totem Lake station project to relieve traffic congestion in this area.The Kirkland Nickel Stage 1 Project is being built to improve personal and freight mobility and reduce foreseeable traffic congestion in a manner that is safe and reliable. It is one of 2003 gas tax funded projects that constitute the first step toward fulfillment of the I-405 Corridor Program. ...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
King County growth booms. Strong job market is pumping up population.It looks like King County growth is on a roll.  Despite losing jobs through 2004 with a 0.3 percent increase in 2002 and 2003, the County's population grew 5 percent from July 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006.  And King County has gained the most people since 2000, followed by Clark, Pierce and Snohomish counties.  The reason?  Job growth.  We're adding jobs, and not enough houses.  Here's the link to the PI article:http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/308551_census22.html
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
The World's Ugliest Mall?By Greg Perry The award for the world's ugliest mall, just might go to Kirkland's Totem Lake Mall.  In fact, there are 2 malls, the upper mall and lower mall.  Come to think of it, they're both just plain ugly....and the lower mall may qualify as the region leader in empty square footage for a retail center. There may be good news on the horizon.  in 2004, new owners Developer Diversified Realty (DDR), and the City of Kirkland started the Totem Lake Mall redesign plan.   Here's the conceptual plan approved by the city's Design Review Board of what the area will look like when completed:Totem Lake Mall redevelopment.pdfOn January 17, 2006, the City Council approved a development agreement with Coventry /DDR to redevelop Totem Lake Mall by committing $15 million t...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Buyer's frequently asked questions Here are some Buyer frequently asked questions:What is the difference between prequalified and preapproved?These terms refer to your status in the loan approval process.  Prequalification is a determination of your probable ability to obtain a loan.  To become prequalified, meet with a loan officer or mortgage company.  They will help you determine the price you can afford, based on your monthly income and your current debts, as well as the cash you have for a down payment.Preapproval means that the mortgage lender has already verified and approved your credit and employment.  Obtaining preapproval early in the process will make your offer more attractive to the seller.What is Earnest money?Earnest money is a "good faith" deposit submitted with your of...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
The city of Kirkland is aggressively replacing a on-site sewer systems (OSS) with their city limits.  In Kirkland, there are many properties dependent upon septic systems, many of which are aged and failing.  Septic systems are intended to be a short-term solution for handling wastewater with an expected life of roughly 30 years.  In order to provide long-term benefits of sanitary sewer to hazardous septic system situations, the City developed the Emergency Sewer Program in 1999. Each project is a 2 year project.  The areas benefiting from the program are determined by responses from a survey that is mailed to all properties served by a private septic system.  The 2007 program is mostly centered around homes in the Rose Hill areas.  The city of Kirkland fronts the costs for new sewer m...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
By Greg Perry No denying it, we definitely have a bubble.  The NWMLS stats absolutely prove it.  We have a real estate agent bubble on the Eastside.  Since February 28 of 2001 and February 28 and 2007 the agents ranks have swelled from 2,924 to 5,258....a staggering increase of 2,334 agents or an increase of 80% in 6 years!.  In 2001 we had 3,470 ACTIVE listings, in 2007 only 2,425 ACTIVE listings or a decrease of about 30%.    Here's the deal, we have 2,334 additional agents in the market place listing and showing 1045 fewer properties.   If these numbers averaged out evenly to every agent, unit production per agent is cut  by over half in the last 6 years!  Why, oh why would would anyone want to be a real estate agent?  Especially a new agent entering this market? The most common answ...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
10 ways for a Seller to make a best first impression     By Greg Perry, Kirkland Realtor    Kirkland real estate In my years of experience assisting Sellers gain an edge in the eastside real estate marketplace, one of the easiest areas to make a difference is the presentation.  Buyers generally make their decisions on the emotional appeal of the house.  You have competed your pre market preparation and your home is ready to show.  Here's what you need to do just before the Buyer visits:1.  Remove everyday clutter, vacuum and clean surfaces.2. Turn on all inside lights, even during the day.  At night, turn on all outside lights.3.  Turn on soft music and display some cut flowers.4.  Keep heat at 68 degrees.5.  Remove pets, or keep them in a separate area.  Be sure to change litter boxes ...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Your "X" marks the spot with a digital signature.     By Greg Perry, Kirkland Realtor     Kirkland real estate Just like in the old west, we can now sign our contracts with our "mark".  Yes, a new era has arrived.  We're now using "digital signatures".  At our office meeting last week, we had a representative from DocuSign present electronic contract services.  Digital signatures and electronic contracts are completely legal.  It was explained to us that they are currently being used most in California, Texas and Florida.  Here are some quick facts about DocuSign:#1 On Demand Electronic Signature Service. Over 1 million signature events in 2006. 100% legal compliance with United States E-SIGN legislation. Founded in 2003. Hold multiple patents. Millions invested in infrastructure and R&...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
A rainy day dream kitchen.A rainy day dream kitchen     by Greg Perry Kirkland Realtor      Kirkland Real EstateIt's one of those cold, rainy and dreary days here on the Eastside.  Not fit to be out in, but one of those great dream building days.  Here's some thoughts on a dream kitchen. A good kitchen is not only functional, but is also the social hub of most homes.  When I ask Buyers about their wish list for their new home, a large modern kitchen is normally at the top of their list.  What makes your dream kitchen?  Here are some ideas of the latest trends in kitchen layout and amenities: •à       Deluxe cabinetry with all the bells and whistles.  Engineers and designers have come up with hundreds of interior pull out and swing out features that make functionality and storage a dream...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
 By Greg Perry One of my greatest sources of entertainment is to ask another real estate agent, or to overhear agents talk about the market.  Some agents are "glass 1/2 full" people and will always portray a positive spin, while others can't wait for the bottom to drop to fulfill a 10 year prophesy that "this market can't last, the bottom is just around the corner."  I think the truth mostly lies in the agent's personal experience at the time.  If they haven't sold anything for awhile, the market is slow, if they've had a couple recent sales, it's hot. We tend to want to categorize markets into Buyer's markets or Seller's markets.  I actually believe we have 3 markets:  Buyers, Sellers and Balanced.  If we have more inventory than Buyers, the Buyer has an advantage in negotiation.  If w...
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By Greg & Brian Perry, Working-for-you
(Windermere Real Estate N.E.)
Written by Greg Perry The City of Kirkland is considering the annexation of the Finn Hill, Upper Juanita and Kingsgate areas.  If brought to a vote, the approx. 33,000 residents of these areas will decide if they should become a part of Kirkland complete with services such as parks, police and roads.  The Kirkland City Council invites all interested parties to attend a meeting at the Peter Kirk Community Center  on March 1, 2007 starting at 6:00 pm for an open house and a presentation and discussion starting at 7:00.  To see a map of the area to be annexed, click here.To see the decision making flow chart, click here.To view the most frequently asked questions and answers, click here.We encourage all affected residents to attend these meetings as the proposed annexation could affect you...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
DRAGNET STYLE Just the FACTS, M'am Monday 10:05 P.M. - email - Hi Ardell, my name is "Jack". I just moved here from X and am on a mission to find a house before June when my wife and children join me. I thought I could do this using the internet but I'm finding this more and more difficult as houses I like seem to disappear almost as soon as they hit the market. I just read some of your articles including the one titled Using the internet to buy your new home and you made me realize that I need help. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm looking for and where I want to live. Here goes: Quiet and clean residential neighborhood, good elementary school. Single family house with 3 bedrooms with an additional room for an office. Two car garage. Ramblers are not my first choice. My budget is _ and ...
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By Gerhard Ade, What sets me apart, will set you apart.
(RSVP Real Estate)
The best thing about my start in real estate was the retail location of Hallmark Realty - in the heart of Kirkland a mere stone's throw from Lake Washington. Over the past five years Kirkland has been at the center of my business. As the map shows, there is a concentration of orange dots (buyers) and red dots (sellers) in the Kirkland area. Yes, I am a Kirkland specialist. Three of my clients are in the same Kirkland condo complex. I have a website dedicated to Kirkland condos and only a lack of time prevents me form expanding the content.So how is it that I've done that much business outside Kirkland? Well, real estate may be local but people choose real estate agents for their total qualifications and qualities. Local expertise is just one of these. That's why I've listed a home in Ca...
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By Delete Delete
(Delete)
Are you looking for a community that trains students to become good jazz and concert band musicians?  Kirkland, in the Lake Washington School District, offers that choice.  As a parent volunteer for Kirkland Junior High and Lake Washington High School bands, I can truly say that I have enjoyed chaperoning, fundraising, and watching these musicians grow, from elementary band to seniors in high school.  By the time these students graduate, they are very accomplished musicians.  Last weekend, the KJH Jazz Band performed at the Poulsbo Jazz Festival.  They and many other school bands are already sounding like big bands of the past - with some outstanding improvisation.  They are learning history, music, teamwork, performance, and musicianship.If you want your child to receive a valuable pub...
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Studio East and Kirkland Junior High PTSA presented "Seussical" the musical this weekend at the Lake Washington High School Cadle Theatre.  These students performed at a much higher level than what I remember in my high school days.  Theatre, at its highest level, not only entertains, but also makes people think.  Dr. Seuss takes on some very serious subjects, such as war, prejudice, vanity, social conformity, desertion, chaos and more.  The students in the play displayed great perseverance through storms, snow days, no electricity, and illness.  They began to realize that the story was important and that the show must go on, in spite of obstacles.  I really appreciate the efforts of the Directors, parent volunteers, the students themselves, and the neighbors who came out to see the fin...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
How do you find your new home?  Instead of looking at houses for sale in person or on the internet, first visit all of your friends.  Ask them what they most like and dislike about their homes.  Take notes.  Write down the address of the homes you like most. It always amazes me when people head out to find a home as if they have never seen a house before.  What is appealing to the eye is not always the most comfortable home to live in.  After you life in your home awhile, that "eye appeal" factor becomes less and less important, and your comfort in functioning in the home on a daily basis becomes more and more important. I have never found someone who moved out of their home because of what it looks like, and yet it seems almost every buyer chooses a house because of what it looks like....
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