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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Sep

25

There’s no doubt that people come to the Seattle area because they love the sights. For a city with such dense urban development, as well as luxury waterfront real estate, the greater Seattle metropolitan area features a staggering variety of natural sights and wonders that locals and tourists alike can enjoy. From boat tours on one of the community’s many bodies of water to peeks at exotic plants in the botanical gardens, celebration of nature is a fixture of Seattle culture. One of the enduring and historically significant sites in the Seattle area is Burien’s Three Tree Point Indian Trail. Here’s what makes this such a memorable feature.

Historical Three Tree Point Community

If you want a sense of how majestic waterfront land in Seattle can be, start by visiting the Burien Indian Trail in the Three Tree Point luxury waterfront community. This secluded and quaint waterfront community lies on the west-facing shores of gorgeous Puget Sound, located in Burien. Historically, the trail hearkens back to an era before there were roads, when there were just narrow public walkways between homes. Summer home vacationers would visit the community, arriving at a long-gone dock by the tip of Three Tree Point on Seattle’s Mosquito Fleet boats. This path was reportedly once approximately followed by Native Americans as a shoreline passage around the point too, though accounts of that vary. People have unearthed artifacts in this area during construction projects, marking the Burien Indian Trail as a natural historical marker for Seattle’s past.

The View from Burien Indian Trail

History buffs might enjoy the trail for its association with the history of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, but nature lovers will have plenty to appreciate as well. As you pass by each waterfront home in this neighborhood, with some above the trail and others below it, you’ll spy Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain range. You’ll also see an incredible view of the beach on the south side trail, as well as a more tree-filtered view on the longer north side. Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the trail is that you could have a completely different experience on the way back during a round trip journey. It’s always a unique adventure traversing this trail.

The Real Estate Around Burien Indian Trail

For those who like to witness luxury, there’s nothing quite like the waterfront property in this community that lies nestled against Puget Sound. There are lower waterfront lots and upper water view lots lining the six-foot wide public trail, including some Puget Sound homes that can be accessed from the road above to the personal solitude at the water’s edge by walking the trail or by using stairs and trams. Some homes are lavish beach houses perched a short distance from the water. This is an affluent and friendly community that’s sure to capture your imagination. For those enjoying life in Three Tree Point, they can walk the beach at low tide and walk the forested trail at high tide. So many options to stroll, visit neighbors, exercise, and show guests around.

Clearly, the view and access you get from the Burien Indian Trail is something entirely unique to the area. Few places can combine history, nature, and luxury into such a comprehensive Seattle experience. Whether you’re just visiting or you’ve lived here for a while and haven’t had a chance to walk the Burien Indian Trail yourself, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. It’s a refreshing experience unlike any other.

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Sep

10

Generally, even among waterfront real estate, there isn’t much that’s noteworthy enough about a single property to warrant its own blog post. Here’s an exception. There is a newly available waterfront estate on the sandy beachfront of Puget Sound that spans 5.5 acres, as well as more than 50 years of history. Historically, it was named “Kewn” after the Gaelic word for a “peaceful place in the forest” and the Skagit Indian word for “peaceful lady”. This theme of peace is well represented by the estate, which offers unprecedented privacy and quiet. It’s comfortably nestled between the exclusive Three Tree Point and Seahurst waterfront communities.

Features of the Puget Sound Estate

Even along the waterfront, few properties can compete with this massive estate. Available on the Puget Sound waterfront just 15 minutes from downtown Seattle, the estate overlooks the Puget sound, the Olympic Mountain range, and more than 200 feet of low bank sandy beach. Across the full 5.5 acres, you’ll find rare trees, ponds, waterfalls, and other gorgeous natural features. More than just for viewing, the estate accommodates an active lifestyle making it easier than ever to go boating, hike in the mountains, walk along the shoreline, and more.

The Home Itself

Overlooking a promontory is the house itself, an 8000-square-foot wonder with a Mid Century Modern style. It has 9 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, two garages, and some iconic architectural features. One such feature is its curved wall of glass along the west side, perfect for viewing Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. It also includes a separate 1500 square foot cabin that’s situated just beyond the water’s edge, which provides an even greater sense of solitude and peace. Perhaps it’s a happy coincidence, but this home known for peace is not located within the flight pattern of the airport, despite the airport being only 10 minutes away. There’s really nothing like this marvel of construction and natural beauty.

Historical Documents

What really sets this estate apart from the wide variety of waterfront houses in Seattle is its history. As made evident by historical documents from more than a half century ago, the estate was once home to the world-renowned Kewn Gardens, which was designed by Fred Cole. He is remembered for his famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, but in Seattle, he’s certainly remembered for his iconic contribution to the Seattle waterfront landscape. Even today, the estate offers a covered patio and walking garden that’s full of exotic plants like giant rhododendrons, azaleas, and a variety of rare trees.

Other historical documents showcase its beauty through artistic renderings that represent a snapshot in time. Every once in a while, it’s fun to stop and take a look at a property with such a history behind it. The estate was owned by the same family for over 100 years, so there’s no question that this particular estate is a once in a lifetime opportunity. From its prominent history within the Seattle area to its incredible amenities and features, there’s no question that “Kewn” is a waterfront estate worthy of its renown.

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Jul

16

One of the most picturesque and exciting features of the Seattle area is its trademark waterfront real estate, complete with floating homes and houseboats. The city’s Lake Union and Portage Bay neighborhoods are home to a thriving community of waterfront houses and homeowners. These homeowners enjoy a fantastic view of Seattle water, as well as easy access to downtown Seattle. Even better, the area is privy to highlights that aren’t found elsewhere, such as Lake Union Park’s FarmBoat floating market. This attraction, held on the historic steamship known as Virginia V, has a storied tradition and a lot of charm.

A Brief History of FarmBoat Floating Market
When it comes to Seattle’s sites, waterfront attractions boast some of the longest histories around, and the FarmBoat Floating Market is no exception. The market is held aboard the long-lived Virginia V and docked at Lake Union Park Wharf, where it harkens back to another age. Around the turn of the 20th century, shipping vessels of steam and sails were the transportation of choice for agricultural goods. Hundreds of ships just like the Virginia V used to travel to and from Puget Sound to move farm goods around before there were trucks and highways. A floating time capsule, the Virginia V captures that unique old-world atmosphere and makes it available to Seattle locals and tourists alike.

The Attraction of Lake Union’s FarmBoat Floating Market
Like the water taxi and water-based firefighters, the floating market is a distinct fixture of the waterfront community. Market visitors can stop by the FarmBoat Floating Market to browse local produce and specialty foods, enjoy a scenic lunch, and even pick up a bit more knowledge about this fascinating bit of Seattle history, such as how the Virginia V once transported farm products from Vashon Island to Pike Place Market way back in 1922. In terms of local heritage and tradition, the FarmBoat Floating Market does a great job of shedding some light on this interesting locale. Even better, the entire experience is available free of charge, which is always a draw when trying to decide which of Seattle’s many attractions to see.

Placing FarmBoat Floating Market in Context
Lake Union FarmBoat Floating Market is managed by the Urban Public Waterfront Association, or UPWA. This organization is a non-profit with the mission of connecting people to the local maritime environment through water-centric events and activities. This alone shows how big a role the waterfront plays in Seattle’s culture and historical traditions. Ultimately, the Floating Market is a great choice for learning more about the area and experiencing what draws people to Seattle’s waterfront property. Whether visitors want to see the FarmBoat Floating Market as a slice of Seattle’s waterfront community, as a living relic of a bygone era, as a compelling shopping destination, or as a great vantage point for admiring Lake Union and the distinctive downtown Seattle skyline, FarmBoat Floating Market is a destination of choice. It has earned its place as a one of a kind attraction in Seattle.

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Jul

2

The Seattle, Washington area is home to a unique and interesting feature in the form of floating homes. Because of the location of bodies of water like the Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and many more, there’s a unique opportunity for homeowners not only to buy waterfront real estate, but also to live in floating homes on the water itself. Even better, many of these homes are located close to downtown Seattle, making them a highly attractive place to settle with a view of the water that can’t be beat. In celebration of this Seattle hallmark, the Seattle Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in South Lake Union is showcasing an exhibit called Still Afloat, which focuses on the subject of floating homes.

The Diverse Waterfront Neighborhood
For a number of years, the neighborhood of floating homes on Lake Union and Portage Bay has engaged in some fairly tumultuous history. There have been land use battles, evictions, and a host of political and economic challenges to the very existence of these floating homes. Recent changes have come, some of which enhance the stability and value of Seattle’s floating homes, others of which threaten to erase the waterfront property community itself. Fortunately, through it all, the iconic Seattle image of the houseboat has endured, and so has the thriving and diverse community on Lake Union and Portage Bay.

Still Afloat Exhibit
Billed as a contemporary history of Seattle’s floating homes, the Still Afloat exhibit is a unique look at the history of this Seattle trademark. The temporary Museum of History and Industry exhibit features images from the past, complete with accounts of what life is like in the floating waterfront home community. The exhibit includes everything from photographs and video interviews to underwater film and a scale model of a floating home, which reveals the technology that makes floating homes possible. Perhaps most importantly, the exhibit is a celebration of the community and its contribution to making Seattle the vibrant and storied metropolis that it has become.

Still Afloat Adds to Seattle Waterfront Community
For those intrigued by floating homes and their Seattle waterfront community, Still Afloat is an all-encompassing experience that’s perfect for Seattle tourists, locals, and even floating homeowners and residents themselves. It will run from June 15 until November 3, 2013, and it will be located in the Linda and Ted Johnson Family Community Gallery at the Museum of History and Industry. You’ll have a rare opportunity to see the sights and hear the sounds of life in this unique community, as well as witnessing the stories of residents who can track the changes in the community over the years. If a trip to Still Afloat doesn’t fully quench your thirst for floating homes, you can also look at the Seattle Floating Homes Association which includes great information and features current plus past newsletters about the community and its lifestyle.

There’s truly nothing like the houseboats community in Seattle, and the museum’s Still Afloat exhibit is a limited-time opportunity to take a glimpse into this fascinating piece of Washington history.

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May

20

Beautiful waterfront home for sale with scenic views.

New Burien Three Tree Point WaterHavens listing

Just a few months ago, there was an online auction house for a 1927-vintage fireboat “Alki.” This special boat was the senior member of four boats that comprised the Seattle Fire Department’s Marine Emergency Response Team. This boat had served the Seattle community well, but it had reached the point where it couldn’t keep up with the demands of modern technology and became an icon for a bygone era instead. While it was a bittersweet time for Seattleites to see a boat with an 86-year history go, it’s just one more reminder of what makes waterfront real estate in Seattle such a special feature of the Washington metropolis. How many other places can boast water-based traffic like water taxis and fireboats?

Retiring the Fireboat “Alki”
The retirement of “Alki” coincided with the recent acquisition of some new boats. “Engine One” was added to the fleet in 2006, and “Leschi” was built in 2007. In addition, the “Chief Seattle” was renovated and given an additional twenty years, making it possible to auction off one of the most enduring pieces of Seattle history. Like most things above 80 years of age, the fireboat could boast plenty of interesting stories, such as the time it was able to help save a commercial sea captain’s home below Magnolia Bluff. The most important part of the story was that the “Alki” was able to get the job done when firefighters on land weren’t able to reach the flames. With plenty of stories like that all along the coast, it was like the waterfront community had to say goodbye to an old friend.

Fireboats for West Seattle Waterfront Real Estate
Along the waterfront coastline is a thriving community full of condos, homes, public parks, shops, and restaurants. Because land traffic can only come from the other direction, water-based firefighters are a staple of various Seattle communities that border Lake Washington and the Puget Sound. These fireboats are even more important for waterfront homeowners with properties that don’t have direct drive-up access. For example, some waterfront houses are walk-down or tram-accessed properties, both of which are difficult to reach quickly from land in the case of an emergency.

The Future of Fireboats
Because of the two new boats and the retrofitted “Chief Seattle,” even more security is now provided for Seattle area waterfront property. Unlike the “Alki,” which was still using decades-old technology for firefighting, the new fireboats are a major step forward in speed and power, as well as the major upgrades to the “Chief Seattle.” For fires, speed and power are often the deciding factor in how much damage can be avoided, and fortunately, the “Leschi” doesn’t disappoint. Stationed in Fire Station 5 on Elliott Bay, this primary firefighting vessel can travel at 14 knots and fight fires with 22,000 gallons of water per minute. While the “Marine One” is about half as long as the “Leschi,” it can actually travel more than twice as fast, making it a fast attack option. With new technology on the fireboats, it can only be even safer now for waterfront real estate owners.

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Apr

10

Paul Dorpat has digitized the entire Seattle 1912 Baist Real Estate Map, showing parcels, structures, and roads throughout all of Seattle a hundred years ago. So if you have a home anywhere within Seattle (Lake Washington, Lake Union, Puget Sound, Duwamish area) and are interested in the historical changes of your neighborhood and even your own parcel (which very well may have been in a different – and perhaps larger – configuration back then), it would be interesting to check it out. He had this information available online, but the website went down. Hopefully it will return!

Seattle 1912 Baist Real Estate Map, including waterfront neighborhoods

Seattle 1912 Baist Real Estate Map, including waterfront neighborhoods


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