Jan

1

The WaterHavens Team has won the coveted Five Star Professional / Best In Client Satisfaction Award from Seattle Magazine, for the 8th time! The award is based on the results of independently administered surveys given to recent real estate sellers, buyers, and knowledgeable experts in the field of real estate. Only the top few percent of all area Realtors then get selected for the award.

Another great year serving the interests of our waterfront sellers and buyers, offering our independently verified top notch personalized expertise. Contact us if you would like to receive this level of service as well.

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Dec

1

The WaterHavens team has won the coveted Five Star Professional / Best In Client Satisfaction Award from Seattle Magazine, for the 7th time! The award is based on the results of independently administered surveys given to recent real estate sellers, buyers, and knowledgeable experts in the field of real estate. Only the top few percent of all area Realtors then get selected for the award.

Congratulations, Veronique, on yet another great year serving the interests of waterfront sellers and buyers.

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Sep

13

If you would like to learn more about your waterfront “front yard”, check out some of these upcoming events at the Environmental Science Center in Seahurst Park, Burien:

Tuesday, September 16th @ 6:30 pm
Seahurst Park Ecosystem Restoration Project
Presentation at ESC by Peter Hummel, Landscape Architect

Sunday, September 21st @ 10 am
Coastal Geology Guided Tour
Site walk starting at ESC led by Jim Johannessen, Engineer Geologist

Tuesday, September 23rd @ 6:30 pm
Exploring Nearshore Habitat
Presentation at ESC by Paul Schlenger , Principal Fisheries Biologist

Tuesday, September 30th @ 6:30 pm
Restoring the Ecosystems Where Land Meets Water
Presentation at ESC by John Small, Landscape Architect

Saturday, October 4th @ 10 am
Hillside Geology Guided Tour
Site walk starting at ESC led by Bill Laprade, Engineer Geologist

Register by following links at the ESC Events page.

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Jun

30

DowntownSeattle.com has recognized the Seattle waterfront as one of the area’s most notable locations. With dozens of neighborhoods there, many of which are home to waterfront houses near expansive Puget Sound or beautiful lakes such as Lake Washington or Lake Sammamish, which of these neighborhood communities is the best? There are many factors that can impact a buyer’s decision as to the best location to live, but these three neighborhoods are extremely popular choices for anyone who enjoys waterfront living. There are plenty of other great neighborhoods in and around Seattle to live in, but these stand out even among those, and here’s why.

South Lake Union

Among the neighborhoods in the Seattle metropolitan area, South Lake Union can boast many appealing qualities. South Lake Union has high walkability, or the ability to walk to local businesses, work, school, and recreation with ease. This accessibility heavily heightens the quality of life of South Lake Union’s residents, who can enjoy the waterfront lifestyle in Seattle with few obstacles. They can walk to a beach or a seafood shop, to their job, or to their neighbor’s party quickly and conveniently. South Lake Union has high quality waterfront property at a reasonable urban price, which easily places it as one of the top waterfront neighborhoods in Seattle.

Magnolia

Magnolia is another attractive choice for a prospective Seattleite. Magnolia is the second largest neighborhood in Seattle, and is in a prime location. From the Magnolia waterfront, there is a breathtaking view of Mount Rainier, the Puget Sound, and of course, the Seattle skyline. To have a waterfront home in Magnolia means to have a lifestyle of immersion in a community designed to be self sufficient and walkable. It is simple to find a great place to eat or a place to play among the prosperous Magnolia businesses. All in all, Magnolia has earned its place on the top Seattle waterfront neighborhood list because of its lifestyle: Magnolia residents live in luxury, with some wonderful things to see and places to walk to, all in one wonderful neighborhood.

Madison Park

Last but not least, Madison Park is also a great neighborhood to call home in Seattle. The waterfront homes in Madison Park are on the edge of Lake Washington with a beautiful view. Perhaps more importantly, the lake is so close that all water activities a resident could ever want, such as boating or swimming, are within a very reasonable walking distance. This is of the utmost importance to some, and it makes Madison Park the epitome of what it means to be a top Seattle waterfront neighborhood. Madison Park is upscale and has numerous restaurants, shops, and banks, as well as zoning for excellent Seattle schools nearby. A neighborhood like Madison Park is sure to please.

Though these three waterfront neighborhoods are on the list, there are easily another dozen that could be perfect for a buyer looking for waterfront real estate. All of them are great communities that cater well to the discerning homebuyer. WaterHavens has more information about a number of Seattle’s top neighborhoods for those looking to buy or sell.

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Jun

16

If someone asked you what you look for in a place to retire, what would you say? You’d probably say you want a place with a nice view, a place with fun things to do, and of course, a place with housing that’s affordable enough to have something left over for a good time. When it comes to Seattle, Belltown is the neighborhood that offers the best mix of benefits for retirees. Here’s a little bit about why Belltown was named on Money Magazine’s best place to retire list.

History of Belltown

For those who love history and tradition, Belltown is a good way to go. Because this neighborhood is close to downtown Seattle, it shares a rich early history with the major Seattle metropolitan area. William Nathanial Bell was the namesake for Belltown back in the 1850’s, as he owned the land that Belltown now occupies. It originally was a low-rent district that transitioned into a neighborhood of single-family cottages, some of which housed writers in residence. Around 1910, it became a burgeoning home to the movie industry dubbed Film Row, which lasted through the 1960s. It’s now known for a creative class of artists and musicians.

On the Waterfront

History isn’t the only feature of Belltown – there’s also some desirable geography. Anyone who’s getting older and looking to slow down from the fast pace of working life will increase your appreciation of the waterfront view Belltown provides. Not only is the waterfront location nice to look at it, but it’s also conveniently close to a host of exciting places that are just a walk away. Retirees generally have time on their hands to go exploring and experiencing new things, which is why Belltown is a great fit. It proudly features all kinds of trendy restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and nightclubs, as well as historic institutions like the grand Moore Theater concert hall.

You Can Afford It

It’s no secret that Seattle’s downtown real estate can get a little pricey. It’s also true waterfront real estate often carries a premium over property that’s further inland. With that said, you might be surprised at how affordable it is to find a place there along the waterfront. Some condos start at just a few hundred thousand dollars. If you want to put more money into your ideal condo or apartment space, you can get an amazing luxury space for one million dollars or more. What’s nice is the fact that Belltown caters to people of all different means, interests, and ages, so you’re sure to find something that makes you happy.

If you weren’t thinking a neighborhood in Seattle would be one of the best places to retire, think again. The incredible waterfront view and proximity to an incredible variety of activities and attractions make Belltown a wonderful choice for anyone who’s preparing to settle down for their golden years. Why not see if there’s a water view home in Belltown for you? When you’re relaxing on a loft overlooking gorgeous Puget Sound, you’ll be glad you did. If you want to search for a home in Belltown, talk to the WaterHavens team who specializes in finding that perfect waterfront retirement home.

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Jun

16

Homes on the Seattle area waterfront have a number of benefits: easy access to many amenities and fantastic views, among others. The houses, however, also can need specific maintenance compared to regular inland properties. While you are probably prepared for a storm event, you should know how to take care of your waterfront house for day-to-day maintenance as well. Use these tips to keep your property in good condition and find any issues before they cause major issues.

Watch for Corrosion

Salt in the water is damaging to many elements of your home. Generally, symptoms first appear on anything metal. If you utilize patio furniture, ensure it is covered in off-season. This heops prevent the salt from corroding it. Prior to covering it for a long period of time, power wash your furniture as well to remove any dirt. A detail many waterfront homeowners may forget about is their door lock. Even these can slowly rust and you may not notice until your key doesn’t slide in easily. These may need to be replaced more frequently.

Consider Area Carpets and Furniture Covers

Most people who live at a waterfront property are constantly inside and out. The outdoor activities in Seattle in the area are well renowned. This, however, causes sand and dirt to track throughout the house with your shoes and clothing.  Put area rugs in high traffic areas that you can shake out. Place covers on your furniture to be washed so the pieces last longer.

Monitor Your Humidity Levels

Waterfront homes near Puget Sound can have slightly higher humidity levels than other areas of Seattle. This needs to be monitored, especially during the summer when humidity peaks. Keep on top of this to prevent any mildew, mold, and peeling paint.  You can also add a dehumidifiers if the humidity level is constantly high.

Look for Pests

Like any home, if there are any small holes around the exterior of your home, you can run into problems with water ants, mice, or even nesting squirrels. Sometimes the natural beauty of an area can bring more “nature” to you than the same home in a small urban de-forested parcel, though usually nothing too unusual.  You may want to hire a professional company for yearly preventative steps.

Puget Sound contains 1, 400 miles of shoreline with over 300 islands. This means you have plenty of areas to choose from when buying your waterfront property. Though the home may take more maintenance, the benefits and views are well worth it. Talk to the professionals at Waterhavens to get started on your search.

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Jun

2

Over 500 residents live in a houseboat. It may seem like a small number, but it is the largest population in the country and, after Asia, the largest in the world. The houseboat population has been increasing especially with movies like ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ showcasing it. If you are thinking about owning a houseboat in Seattle, first consider the layout, costs, and other aspects of flat-bottomed boats.  Note that there are houseboats, house barges, and floating homes in Seattle, all of which have different nuances and classifications.

Houseboat Property Costs

Living on a houseboat has a significant advantage: lower costs. A smaller houseboat, around 30 to 40 feet, can run approximately $100,000. You then pay for the marina space the boat sits in. No matter what size houseboat you choose, you do not need to pay for Seattle real-estate taxes, trash collection, or landscaping costs. It should be noted, floating homes can run well over a million dollars for those wanting luxury. There are waterfront properties available for everyone’s budget, needs, and wants.

Houseboat Maintenance Costs

The maintenance of the houseboat is where it gets tricky because costs are often higher than a traditional home. Boats require a good bit of upkeep, but not necessarily more than if you tended your yard in a regular home. If you are a talented DIY-er, this may not be a problem. Otherwise, you may want a list of reputable professionals on hand.

Due to a number of issues that come with age, it is sometimes recommended to not purchase a houseboat over 25 years old. Along with potential structural issues, it is hard to find someone to finance it if you cannot pay out of pocket.

Finding a Dock Space

The popularity of Seattle houseboats is significantly increasing, leading some marinas to ban them. Some feel that the houseboats can contribute to waterfront pollution, schools systems, and other public needs without paying taxes toward these. The inner marinas, however, such as Lake Union are full of houseboats with personality. Dependent on the marina and amenities you choose, a dock space can rent for as little as $300 per month to over $1,500.

Though you can find a houseboat in Seattle for less than $100,000 by itself, the average cost will be much closer to a few hundred thousand. It gives you a larger living space, high quality finishes, and lets you live on the water while enjoying the views.

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May

19

Owning a Seattle waterfront vacation home has an appeal to almost everyone. The idea of waking up to enjoy a cup of coffee with views of the Puget Sound already makes you feel relaxed. It may not seem like an affordable option for some people, however, especially with the real estate market making improvements. Before you make your purchase, consider the pros and cons of owning a waterfront vacation home.

Renting Out the Vacation Home

The biggest benefit in buying a waterfront property is renting it out. Many homeowners don’t consider this option, but you can often pay your mortgage through the rent costs. Locals searching for a romantic getaway or travelers wanting somewhere to stay all look for the appeal of a waterfront house. Many Seattleites find their homes rented practically year round because the neighborhoods are so close to the amenities of the metro.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance of a waterfront property is more expensive than others. If you choose a house near salt water, the salt spray can require some more home maintenance. Local weather can also impact the house, like anywhere. You will want to ensure you keep a good savings in place strictly for yearly repairs.

When You Buy a Vacation Home

If you decide to move forward and buy a vacation home by Puget Sound, there are a few ways to save a few dollars. You may want to, for example,

  • Practice seasonal maintenance issues like turning off water in winter and storing items
  • Buy a smaller house that is easier to maintain
  • Pay for a good insurance policy that includes flooding
  • Utilize a property management firm when renting out
  • Complete an inspection after each season to catch damage quickly
  • Consider constructing a new build with weather resistant materials
  • Hire professionals to clean or do yard maintenance during off-season

If you want a guaranteed place to get away, a Seattle vacation home may be just what you need. Speak with us to find the location and type of home suited to your needs. Waterhavens has prime property ready for you around Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and many other areas. With the best client satisfaction, the Waterhavens team will make it easier for you to sit back while you enjoy the waterfront views and that cup of coffee.

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May

5

There are countless reasons to want to move to Seattle, and different reasons appeal to different people. But almost everyone can agree that this list of the top ten reasons to move to the Seattle waterfront covers the most attractive aspects of this unique Washington city.

1. Beautiful Bodies of Water
Seattle is home to dozens of breathtaking lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound. These views bring people from around the world interested in owning waterfront real estate in Seattle, and tourists and residents alike constantly fall in love with the water. Being close to the water provides easy access to fun activities like boating and fishing, hobbies thousands of Seattleites enjoy every year.

2. Business is Booming
Seattle is growing rapidly, and both big corporations and small family businesses are prospering. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing make their home here, and local restaurants and art galleries constantly bring tourists and locals to enjoy all that Seattle has to offer.

3. Sports are Popular
Not only are sports teams like the Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners a big part of the culture of the area, but amateurs in all types of sports regularly practice and play their favorite sports. Whether it’s walking down to the waterfront for some windsurfing or playing some basketball with a group of friends, there are always fun ways to exercise and support your favorite sports in Seattle.

4. Four Seasons
Seattle boasts four varied seasons, and all are relatively mild compared to most other parts of the country. Enjoy a pleasant summer, cool fall, chilly but not freezing winter, and a reinvigorating spring.

5. Environmentally Friendly
It’s a well-known fact that Seattle is one of the most environmentally friendly metropolitan areas in the country. A high percentage of citizens bike to school and work, and if you select a nice location for your waterfront property, you can join the league of Seattle pedestrians who choose to stay active and help the environment at the same time.

6. Delicious and Varied Cuisine
Within walking distance from most waterfront homes, you’ll find a large number of restaurants that serve people with eclectic tastes. The Seattle cuisine originates from countries and cultures the world over, and no two dishes are the same. Seattle is the home of Starbuck’s coffee, and thanks to all the bodies of water, most waterfront property is adjacent to amazing seafood restaurants with tempting oysters and salmon.

7. Impressive Music Scene
Home to world-famous Nirvana, Macklemore, Jimi Hendrix, and many many more famous musicians, Seattle has grown to be more than simply grunge music. There are hotspots for all genres, and locals always love to see the latest band. Residents of a waterfront home can walk down to a beach concert near Lake Washington.

8. Amazing Sights to See
Seattle has some of the most impressive mountains in the United States that are home to breathtaking forests, waterfalls, and a view of the city itself. A quick hike up one of these mountains never disappoints, in either the Cascade Mountains or the Olympic Mountains.

9. Cultured People
The people of Seattle are generally educated and sophisticated, and enjoy the finer things, like the impressive extensive art collections in galleries and museums throughout the city.

10. Famous Landmarks
Famous sites like the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project, or EMP, call Seattle their home. It’s always great to be able to live near iconic places with cultural and historical significance.

There’s truly nothing like the Seattle waterfront scene. Whatever reason appeals most to you, you’ll find the waterfront in Seattle to be an amazing experience.

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Apr

21

Recently in the Puget Sound area, there was talk about new oil trains that are planned to run through parts of Washington State. Concerned homeowners are worried about the effect the trains will have on their communities. Right now, protesters in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia are delaying 11 miles of trains that could potentially clog the Pacific Northwest railway system every day.

 

Why Stop the Oil Trains?

Protesters are not only concerned about the eyesore and noise the trains would create. They’re also worried about potential spills and accidents the trains could cause. At full capacity, the trains would carry 785,000 barrels of oil every day. The trains would come from Alberta as well as North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming.

 

Currently, there are 10 proposed or on-the-way oil-by-rail projects planned for Washington State. Residents of the Puget Sound area and other parts of Washington will have a chance to learn more about the projects this April. Since July of last year, there was a steady stream of derailments along the train lines, most of them outside of Washington. Some residents, however, are concerned these derailments will increase in Washington if the trains are allowed to run through the state.

 

Environmental Issues

Washington has always been concerned and involved with environmental and climate issues in the past. Some residents of Puget Sound feel the oil industry may cause harm to the environment. Spilled oil can damage the environment and kill animals. The pollution caused by trains may also cause issues.

 

Public speaking events are to be conducted across Washington with focus in cities where the oil-by-rail projects are planned. At these meetings, people can share their concerns if they would like their city councils to take a stand and support a statewide moratorium on oil-by-rail shipping. City councils in both Spokane and Bellingham have made such resolutions. Protesters who plan to attend the latest community meeting in Seattle hope Gov. Jay Inslee also approves a resolution to “freeze all pending oil-by-rail projects until environmental and safety concerns have been addressed,” as noted in the Bainbridge Review.

 

The Puget Sound and waterfront cities throughout Washington might band together to stop the trains from running. Right now, it’s unclear how long it will take for the safety and environmental concerns to be addressed and people are unsure what will happen once the issues are taken care of. Either the oil-by-rail projects will be completed or the citizens of Washington will veto the projects. If this happens, the oil industry will be forced to find other states to comply and other avenues to transport oil.

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