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Posts made in April, 2016

  • Top 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sell “For Sale By Owner”!

    April 22, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Often, society encourages us to cut the “middleman” out of our numerous daily transactions. In some situations this plan makes sense, as it tends to make things more efficient. However, in the context of a real estate transaction, cutting out the middleman (aka, your real estate agent) could be downright disastrous. If you’re selling your home, you might be tempted to save money by attempting a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction. A FSBO is a sale conducted solely by the owner of the home, and so he or she circumnavigates the commission fee and cost of hiring an agent. While this idea might seem attractive on paper (“No commission fee? Sounds great! What could possibly go wrong?”), it’s important to understand that, in most cases, a FSBO means big losses for the seller in more ways than one. Read on for an explanation detailing why every homeowner selling a house needs a real estate agent. Agents Are Professionals While sellers are obviously driven to sell their homes, this motivation does not make most of them experts in the varied minutia hidden in a real estate transaction. A real estate agent, however, is an expert, and this expertise is vital…Read more

  • Living in Washington State: Pine Trees

    April 15, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    My mother never let me shirk trash duty. No matter how much I begged, no matter how much I railed against the Machiavellian family dynamics that forced me to take out the trash every night after dinner, my mother remained unmoved. “Listen here, buckaroo,” she used to say, pointing at me with a wooden spoon. “I just spent half the day slaving over dinner and the least you can do is take out the trash. Besides, it’ll build character.” “But Mom!” I wailed, “Coyotes will eat me!” “Fine. Take Emily Dickinson with you.” (Emily Dickinson was the name of our basset hound, a pitiful creature who waddled through life in a remarkably portly and morose fashion. Her companionship was little consolation.) Before you scoff at my cowardly reluctance to finish my chores, it’s important to understand that our house was surrounded by a vast forest of pine trees. When I took out the garbage, I wasn’t blithely strolling to the end of a suburban driveway; instead, I was venturing out into utter darkness, into a wilderness rustling beneath a web of stars. Taking out the garbage at night was less like performing a mundane duty and more like participating in…Read more

  • Living in Washington State: Coffee

    April 8, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    I’ve drunk a cup of black coffee every morning since I turned 16 and, apart from the occasional spasm of anxious twitching, I don’t seem to have suffered any permanent damage. It might seem strange that I graduated to the Black Coffee Stage at an age when most folks are still dilly-dallying with milk and sugar, but you have to understand that I am a native of Washington State, and for me, that means black coffee.   I grew up in a household of obsessive coffee drinkers, a world of bleary-eyed adults shuffling groggily through each morning, clutching mugs of java like partially drowned sailors clinging to life preservers. My mother and stepfather were especially avid coffee drinkers, people who brewed a cheap and rugged beverage in a dented percolator during the wee hours of the morning. For them, coffee was an Everyman drink, a drink for the Average Joe that ripped enamel off our teeth and boiled in our guts, emboldening us to persevere through nine months of rain and cold and darkness. It was an unspoken rule in our house that talking was not permitted until we’d had our coffee. Each morning we’d sit around, clad in slippers…Read more

  • Issaquah Highlands: Homeownership Made Affordable!

    April 8, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Doesn’t it seem like everywhere you look there is new construction these days? The Seattle area is swiftly growing into a hub for industry and innovation, and the rapid employment growth has lead to an increase in demand for housing. It seems like new developments are sprouting up overnight to support the burgeoning population, and housing prices are continuing to climb to impressive heights. In an effort to maintain housing affordability, King County is helping to manage growth and development through a program called ARCH.  A Regional Coalition for Housing, or ARCH, is designed to provide affordable housing in East King County cities. Through a partnership between King County and member cities, ARCH offers the support and resources needed to serve a wide range of housing needs, including affordable ownership.  What buyers should know… When a home that is part of the ARCH program goes on the market, buyers with a household income at or below a max guideline are given first priority. For the first 60 or 90 days an ARCH home is listed, only buyers who meet this income requirement can make an offer. ARCH also maintains affordability by setting max resale values for each of the homes…Read more

  • Neighborhood Profile: Madison Park

    April 6, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Finding a cozy and historic atmosphere within a big city like Seattle can sometimes be tough, a fact that turns neighborhoods like Madison Park into true gems. Indeed, Madison Park maintains natural beauty and a cheery, “village” atmosphere within the Seattle city limits, making it one of the city’s most desirable places to call home. Madison Park is a small neighborhood at the northeast corner of Seattle named for the park at the base of Madison Street.  It is circumscribed by Lake Washington to the east, 39th Avenue to the south, Lake Washington Blvd to the south and west, and Union Bay to the north. Madison Park is an upscale neighborhood with plenty of charm and a rich, diverse history. Before the arrival of white settlers, the area was widely used by the Duwamish tribe for fishing and hunting. In the 1850s, a newcomer by the name of John McGilvera bought over 400 acres in the Madison Park region and began development. In fact, it was the intrepid McGilvra who originally carved out space for the park that gives the neighborhood its name. Throughout the decades that followed, Madison Park would become a popular destination and home to many attractions,…Read more