What’s a Buyer’s Agent?

Do you ever wonder how this real estate stuff works when you buy or sell a  home?   Who pays who in a real estate transaction?
Over the years, I’ve had plenty of buyers ask me how much my realtor fees  are if we work together.  Likewise, I’ve had sellers shocked to find out what they have to pay for excise tax in our city.  A seller’s net proceeds or a buyer’s closing cost worksheet are always in my back pocket to get down to an approximate number.  Traditionally the commission percentage (which can vary) come from the seller’s wallet (sorry guys)…but that’s not to say there can be different scenarios.
So why am I a buyer’s agent?  First of all, I absolutely love working with buyers!  And secondly I LOVE looking at homes.  I listen very carefully my clients.  First we have to get through the NEEDS and then we talk about the WANTS.  I love the satisfaction of walking into a home with my clients and they instantly fall in love with it.  But more times than not, there are compromises so I’m all about letting my clients know what their options are.  The permit process, the cost of remodeling, the little tweaks you can do here and there.  It’s all so much fun to me and I can see the client getting excited as we proceed down the road.
The road is an exciting one too.  I can probably explain the transaction process of buying or selling a home about 100 different ways depending on the client (unfortunately not in a 100 different languages because that would be really cool).  Sometimes it’s a new home buyer, sometimes its an investor, and sometimes it’s a buy up or a buy down . I talk to the buyer about terms, the market, escrow, inspection, appraisal, the 21 page purchase and sale contract and specifically what to expect and what not to expect.  It’s great!  The anticipation of presenting a killer offer to the seller is my favorite.  Are you interested in talking to me as a buyer’s agent?   I’d be happy to talk to you too!
I HEART Green Lake (my ‘hood), Tangletown, Wallingford, Phinney, Ravenna and Ballard.  Got car.  Will travel.

molly a. cartwright | seattle realtor since 2001
cooper jacobs real estate, llc
206.841.6800 | cooperjacobs.com | greenlakeloop.com
“Serving home buyers and sellers in Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods”

Green Lake Real Estate Is On Fire!

These days if you’re in the market to buy a piece of  Green Lake real estate, act fast.  Green Lake is one of the highest ranked neighborhoods for number of successfully closed transactions in the month of May with 167 sold homes…in one month!   Green Lake, Wallingford, and Ballard combined closed 167 homes in May 2012.  Second runner up was over 30 miles away east in North Bend, Issaquah, Sammamish, and Snoqualmie (for the eastside single family homes) with 163 closed transactions.

As a Green Lake native for 17 years,  I’ve seen some moderate growth in the area but nothing like Ballard or downtown Seattle.  Moderate meaning a new PCC with 250 apartment units above it to replace a Vitamilk plant.  It’s a quaint place to raise a family or be single.  It has the convenience of in-city suburbia with a little wholesome sustainability throw in.  If you walk down any street in Green Lake, Tangletown, or Wallingford (which are all located in the coveted core commuting central), you’ll hear kids laughing, dogs barking, chickens nesting and possibly the smell of coffee roasting or donuts frying.   Mighty-O Donuts, Zoka Coffee, Irwins Bakery just to name a few are on my walk-the-dog route.  Did I mention the five different public parks within walking distance?  Oh, and I think I almost forgot to mention the two AMAZING farmer markets – Wednesdays 3-6pm in the summer and every Saturday (year-round).  Cheese anyone?  Last week, my daughter I rented one of those paddle boats.  Next time, I’m moving up to a paddleboard.  I want to at least look like I’m a surfer.  Green Lake has a killer 3 mile path where you can run, walk, bike, skateboard, speed stroller (I just made that up), go fishing, tanning, frisbee, walk on a tightrope tied between two trees…oh the list goes on and on.

To put the cherry on top, the new McDonald Elementary (language immersion program) is opening its doors Fall of 2012.  Wow!  I think I’ve seen my home value increase by this statement already.  With some public schools experiencing increased campus sizes, McDonald Elementary school will help alleviate this.   Believe me, the PTA is as strong as ever and the school has been in complete remodel mode since last year at this time.  I live two blocks from it and it’s exciting to see the improvements – new windows, furnace, black top, bark, and play structure for the playground – and more. 

I don’t mean to brag about my neighborhood because Seattle has other amazing neighborhoods which I can showcase for you, but nothing else feels more like home than my Green Lake.

Molly Cartwright
Green Lake Resident and Realtor
molly@cooperjacobs.com
206.841.6800

HEADS OUT FOR SPRING

Heads Out for Spring

The turtles have come out of hibernation on Green Lake and Lake Washington and many people are thrilled to see them. For some folks, seeing the turtles bask in the sun on wooden logs is the unofficial start to Spring.

green lake turtles

 

Turtles surfacing the waterline is a magical time in Seattle. These shelled critters act as a barometer for this body of water we know as Green Lake.Many of the flowers and cherry blossom trees have been out for about a month now but the turtles seem to know when there’s little chance of going back to freezing temperatures.

Baseball’s in the air too! The Seattle Mariners have their season opening game at Safeco Field today after starting the season overseas in Japan. There have been more and more Green Lake open houses, too, and that’s another sign that warmer weather and sunny days are more common. If you are interested in open houses held by Cooper Jacobs please contact us at courtney@cooperjacobs.com.

If you are looking at homes for sale in Seattle, then Green Lake is a great place to live.

Active Green Lake real estate listings can be viewed at Green Lake Properties.

For ALL the listings in Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods go to www.cooperjacobs.com.

Green Lake Pathway Of Lights 2012

Plan On Attending The Green Lake Pathway of Lights 2012

The Green Lake path will be lit up again in a tradition that has been going on since before Elvis died.  You don’t want to miss this beautiful and very cold event – there is nothing more beautiful than Green Lake and some of its docks lit up!  Green Lake neighbors and friends get together and the event is FREE.

From to the Seattle Parks & Rec Site

This years event is Dec 10th, 2011 from 5-8 p.m. (every 2nd Sat in Dec.). This yearly event brings neighbors, friends, families and Seattle together to light up the night in one of the darkest months of the year in a celebration of light and the many holidays of December. Volunteer music groups, and people setting up and taking down the candles and helping with the event wanted!

The event is free and open to the public and this year is December 10th, 2011 from 5-8pm. The event includes 4 music stages around the 2.8 mile lake, with holiday performances by music groups of 20 or less (unamplified). The 2.8 miles of the interior of the lake are light by over 2500 candles; in addition docks and some paths leading to the lake are also lit. You are encouraged to light up the night yourself, with glow sticks and other items.

Green Lake is a wonderful Seattle neighborhood – if you are interested in Green Lake homes for sale, please let us know what we can do for you.  We have excellent Green Lake listing agents and also some of the very best Green Lake Realtors for buyers.  Cooper Jacobs Real Estate is different and we want to show you why.  realestate@cooperjacobs.com

About Cooper Jacobs Real Estate’s Seattle Branch:

 My office at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate LLC is located centrally near all my favorite Puget Sound neighborhoods just a few blocks up from Lake Union & just South of Green Lake in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.  Cooper Jacobs Real Estate is a wonderful place filled with talented Seattle real estate brokers and I count myself extremely lucky that I get to spend so much time with these wonderful people.  We specialize in different Seattle neighborhoods and suburbs in both residential and commercial real estate and are all very passionate and excited about each of our favorite Seattle neighborhoods and industries!

Cooper Jacobs

Dear Curious in Green Lake

Have you ever walked, biked, drove past a house a million times on your way to work and thought to yourself “I wonder what that house looks like inside?”.  As soon as you see a for sale in the yard, you immediate make a b-line to the colorful flyer hoping to find a price, just out of curiosity of course. 

I had one of those today.  This really cool, perfect starter home in Green Lake has been on the market just a short time which is on my way to Duke’s Chowder House one block southwest.  I’m very smitten of the beautiful fir tree in front for privacy, convenient alley, and an acutely maintained yard.

Once I walked up to the welcome mat, the house is better than I imagined.  Clean, mid-century lines, updated kitchen with eating nook, two bedrooms + full bath up and a completely refurbished lower living space including a cozy fireplace around the oversized sofa, another bathroom and extra storage.  The soft carpet under my feet compliment the twist of  a modern edge throughout the home.  It’s a nice touch of the old and the new – which translates Green Lake homes to a “T”.  

Great home, great price – under $500,000 – and close to everything in east Green Lake.  You can walk your kids to Daniel Bagley Elementary (Montesory to 5th grade) on 80th Street, get some amazing Pho Vietnamese soup, or just kick it at Green Lake park in the wadding pool.  Perhaps you’re in need of a 3 mile jog with your dog.   If you do, grab a beer on the outside deck at Duke’s Chowder House on your way home to this totally efficient Green Lake home. 

Will you be impressed as much as I was?  Give me a ring or email and I’d be happy to show you the thoughtfullness of this home and why I think it’s such a great deal.

Twins!

Twins!

My client is pregnant with twins.  And while this new experience is super exciting for her and her husband, the four story townhome is not so much exciting.  There is literally a bedroom on every floor.  Not screaming practical here. 

Time to stock up the car with plenty of bottled water and m&m’s. 

They live in the uber-urban neighborhood of Wallingford and didn’t want to venture too far away since schools are a major focus now.  So my checklist reads:

  1. Great Schools
  2. Walkable and Safe Neighborhood
  3. Practical Floorplan with Four Bedrooms, 2,000 sq ft.
  4. Easy Commute to Work
  5. Updated
  6. $500,000 to $600,000 Range

Do any of these ring a bell? 

Green Lake Beach

First we look in Greenwood because of an amazing 2011 home just built.  Almost a perfect fit: 4 out of 6.  Bonus: Two car garage!  Overall, the neighborhood wasn’t for them.  No sidewalks (one of those things I keep hearing about Greenwood) and walkability was poor.  And I’ll give it a 5 out of 10 on the school-meter.

We look in Ballard.  Too far West for commuting purposes.  Plus they weren’t familiar with the neighborhood and I think this psyched them out a bit. 

Wallingford was up next.  They found some wonderfully updated bungalows in this uber-urban neighborhood.  They were shocked by the price per square foot and really – when you’re having twins plus a nanny – you want square footage.

I guess I left the best for last.  Green Lake was our final destination.  Bingo! 

Wallingford Park and Wading Pool

It was a Sunday afternoon and I was at an open house for my own Green Lake listing.  She and her husband went to an Open House and fell in love with it.  Who said Open Houses don’t sell houses?  We wrote it up the next day.  They can walk to PCC, Green Lake Park is across the street and when they get hungry they can walk to Duke’s, Blu Water Bistro then Ben and Jerry’s for dessert.  Daniel Bagley Elementary is one of the top desirable k-5 elementary schools and they also have a Montessori.  If private schools are more your thing, St. Joseph’s is right up the road on 80th Ave.

Happy Mommy.  Happy Daddy.  And soon to be Happy Twins this Fall.

Welcome to Green Lake, New Home Owner!

Welcome to Green Lake, New Home Owner!

My Favorite Yellow Castle

Congratulations if you are one of the lucky 26 people who can call Green Lake home.  The month of May turned out to be a successful month for sales in this paddle-boarding, bike-riding neighborhood.  The previous two months – even more successful!  Crazy to imagine 87 homes were sold in the last three months – all of which have 1, 2, 3…5 each in a household.  I know of a couple households which sold their Green Lake home only to move two blocks away.  It’s nice to know growing families want to stay here.  So let’s look at the numbers in a glance:

March 2011 - Booming!  34 homes sold with an average of 84 days on the market.  Okay – that last number is not so great.  Probably just people getting out of the winter hibernation.  We want  days on market to be more like 30.  Homes were also selling on average for roughly $423,000….better (if you’re a seller) than the average price today. 

April 2001 – Sweet!  27 homes sold with an average of 49 days on the market.  Okay – better!  People thinking ahead for summer and school changes.  Homes were selling on average for roughly $406,800…better (if you’re a buyer).

May 2011 – Looking ahead!  26 homes sold with an average of 41 days on the market.  Okay – getting there!  More sun, longer days.  Homes were selling on average for roughly $397,500….really better (if you’re a buyer).

So what if you’re a seller?  Yes, the average prices have come down in the last three months IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT AVERAGES.  See the thing with averages are there might be a million dollar home that sold…which happened in March ($1,225,000 to be exact) which then shoots up the average. 

Southwest Flare

 Then you look at April and the highest house sold was $698,500..which went OVER asking price.  Yay!  In May it looks like $785,000 was the highest house sold.  

If someone were to ask me what the average price of a Green Lake home is, I would say a solid $500,000 with 3 bedrooms /2 bath, garage, and logical upgrades on a great avenues like Corliss and Bagley.

Corliss Ave

Tangletown has really sprung into action too.  Tangletown is known around here by mostly the locals.  Here’s the equation:

Dive bar/nice bar/ to die for sushi,/cafe complete with free wi-fi/ hip salon/dentist/ dry cleaner, and of course you got your quick market + many zig zag residential (walkable) tree lined streets = tangletown.  

Oh yeah, and it’s four blocks from the lake.  Bam!

Cindo de Mayo in Green Lake

Cindo de Mayo in Green Lake

Looking for Margarita-ville?  It’s on the corner of Green Lake Way and 2nd Ave NE in Green Lake.  Another year (that makes it 10 years running) that Tacos Guaymas kicks off their Block Party.

This isn’t just any Block Party.  These guys are serious!  Party goes from 11am to 1pm complete with a beer garden, margarita bar and, of course, jalepeno eating contest.  Sing with the mariachi band while sippin’ on margaritas and celebrate Mexico’s independence day! 

3,000 sombrero-wearing, pepper-eating amigos partied here last year.  Bring your water bottles to cool down cause this is going to be HOT! 

 

Oh and if you’re strolling down Green Lake Way and like what you see, contact us for real estate home sales. 

New Construction in Green Lake

New Construction in Green Lake

“What’s THAT?”, asks a client.

I’ve been getting that question since 2008.

“Oh, that’s The Hole”, I reply. 

The Hole has made its bed in Green Lake since 2008. Vitamilk used to occupy this entire 3 acre city block until they sold it to some developers that year. 

Unfortunately the developers had a major fall out with the main tentant (heard it was Whole Foods or maybe Metropolitan Market) and the site has sat empty for all these years.  And sits.  And sits. 

2011 brings promise!  It’s been reported that PCC has stepped up to the plate and will be the main retailer anchoring the “the hole” in Green Lake.  Above PCC will live about 295 apartments.  Might be competition with Circa, which is the other apartment/mixed use building,  replacing my beloved Alberton’s years ago. 

The Hole will be starting their new construction soon and the new 55,000 mixed use space will become Green Lake Village slated for completion in 2013!

Green Lake Heating Up

Green Lake in Seattle

Green Lake is so pretty this time of year if the weather is cooperating.  I had the great pleasure of walking in the bright sunshine yesterday under ideal conditions.

I walk Green Lake or Lake Union almost every day.  Green Lake is just under 3 miles and Lake Union is about 6 miles.  Green Lake is good for a slow stroll, a jog, bike, strollers, skates, blades, hula hooping blades, wagons, and just about any other thing you can imagine and it is nice because if you feel like going around twice, it is easy to do so.  It usually takes me about 45 minutes to walk around the lake rain, snow, or shine at a fairly brisk pace.  it is flat for the most part and has great scenic sites along the way.

I now count myself among one of the lucky who get to live within walking distance from the lake, but there is ample parking if you need to drive to get there.

If you are interested in Green Lake real estate, let us know – we would be happy to show you this wonderful Seattle neighborhood!