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  • Have you ever wanted to live in Ballard?

    June 3, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    It’s common knowledge that Seattle has a long and proud maritime history. Whether you’re enjoying a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, visiting the aquarium on the pier, or simply renting a paddleboat out on Green Lake, you'll never be far from the water. In the midst of all this briny heritage is Ballard, a nook of northwest Seattle with especially strong ties to the sea. By coincidence, it’s also one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Ballard has a long, rich history that stretches back to the 1850s. Originally an independent town populated by fishermen of Scandinavian descent, Ballard has since been incorporated into Seattle and blossomed into a hotspot for culture, food, and drink. One of Ballard’s most popular attractions is the Nordic Heritage Museum, which specializes in preserving and celebrating Nordic culture through dance, film, music, and an extensive series of classes and lectures. On particularly sunny days, visitors can stroll down to Ballard’s popular Golden Gardens Park, a coastal recreation area with forest trails, sandy beaches, and ample views of the Puget Sound. If you’re going to visit Ballard, however, you’ve got to emphasize eating and drinking. In a city renowned for its culinary scene,…Read more

  • Ten Reasons You Should Work With A Real Estate Expert

    June 1, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Everything seems automated these days. Self-service stations are proliferating in grocery stores, cars are parallel parking themselves, and everyone seems to be jumping on the robotic bandwagon. The real estate world is not immune to this electronic trend; the vast number of online resources has lead some house hunters to believe that real estate agents have gone the way of the dodo. While searching for a house alone is an option, it’s important to understand that navigating the real estate world without an agent is difficult at best, and disastrous at worst. Below, you’ll find the top ten reasons why you should always work with a real estate expert. Access to Listings Yes, it’s true: the Internet is amazing, and it contains more information than any human could consume in a lifetime. That said, it’s guaranteed that any real estate agent will have access to more listings than the Average Joe surfing the web. For instance, many properties might be available but won’t be advertised publicly, and most websites are not as up to date as the multiple listing service (MLS). As such, agents can help you access more and better listings. However, while access to listings is great, it’s…Read more

  • Pickett Street Properties: Named as One of the Best Places to Work in 2016!

    May 26, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Bothell, WA—May 26, 2016—The Business Intelligence Group today announced that it has awarded Pickett Street Properties a Best Places to Work in their inaugural business award contest. The organization sought to identify companies that are actively working to improve their own performance through efforts to challenge employees in environments that makes work fun and engaging. “We firmly believe in creating a work environment where team members have autonomy and are challenged to be experts in their area of real estate.” said Jesse D. Moore. “If we hire intelligent, self-motivated and driven individuals, why not create an environment where they never want or have to leave?” Researchers, including Gallup, have determined that employee satisfaction and engagement are key indicators for employee productivity and customer satisfaction, which ultimately results in improved profitability and growth. “Congratulations to the entire team for making employees satisfaction and performance a priority at Pickett Street Properties,” said Russ Fordyce, managing director of the Business Intelligence Group. “Employees have voted and provided clear evidence that this is a special company, one where executive leadership and management focuses on making work more than…just work!” Nominations for the Best Places to Work award were submitted to the Business Intelligence Group…Read more

  • Living in Washington State: Rain

    May 13, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Back in high school, I had a peculiar winter routine: each morning, I woke up at 6 am (also known in layman's terms as Utter Darkness O’clock), tried to remember where I mislaid my socks, ate a piece of blackened toast in the kitchen, and then spent about half an hour trying to break into my own car. The problem, you see, with my car (which, it’s worth mentioning, was a ‘99 Geo Metro whose engine seemed inclined to explode once every six months) was that its doors’ wizened and decrepit locks froze overnight during the winter. As such, I spent each morning from the end of November to the end of February jamming my keys with Neolithic stupidity into the lock on the driver’s side door. Usually, I had to resort to prying open a rear passenger door (often with an unused coat hanger) and then, through a backbreaking series of acrobatics and advanced yoga poses, crawl into the front seat. Thankfully, I lived in the woods, and so was spared the embarrassment of performing this ritual in front of neighbors. I mention this elaborate routine because it was always accompanied by a lavishly icy rain. Indeed, it was…Read more

  • 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

  • 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

  • Living in Washington State: Ferries

    March 14, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    I was drifting on the surface of the moon. I stood on the deck of a ferry chugging toward Seattle, a five-year-old lost in a crowd of lumbering adults clutching umbrellas. The towering form of my mother moved in and out of the fog, pushing politely through knots of passengers, reaching out to hold my hand and fuss with my raincoat. Far away, my father leaned against the ferry’s railing, holding his hand to his brow and looking out for the first sign of Seattle. The ferry’s purring engine hauled us through a silent world of barnacle-clad seas. ——— Based on the harrowing tales told by relatives back East, I’d originally imagined my first ferry ride as an excursion fraught with peril. You’re moving to Washington? they’d sputtered in their New Jersey accents when my mother talked about our decision to move. Don’t you know how much it rains there? After months of hearing tall tales about the American West (all of which, it seemed, involved New Jersey bumpkins tripping into bottomless gulches or being trampled in buffalo stampedes), the prospect of doing something adventurous like riding a ferry was unbearably exciting. I remember the first time we drove onto…Read more

  • Neighborhood Profile: Mill Creek

    March 8, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Imagine living in a planned community clustered around a golf course, interspersed with countless miles of hiking trails, and supported by a thriving commercial center. In Mill Creek, all of these characteristics come together to create a truly cozy community. Part of Snohomish County, Mill Creek is located east of Lynnwood, north of Bothell, and just 20 miles away from downtown Seattle. Originally a planned community built around the Mill Creek Country Club and Golf Course, Mill Creek has grown into a tidy and prosperous community stocked to the brim with handsome real estate. Mill Creek’s neighborhood plans make it particularly attractive to residents. Blessed with larger than average lot sizes, and plenty of green space and parks (including sports courts, ball fields, and nearly 25 miles of walking trails), Mill Creek’s neighborhoods are not just places to crash after a long day at work; instead, they’re carefully planned to be enjoyable living spaces that enrich the lives of both children and adults. Some of Mill Creek’s most popular parks include Cougar Park, Heron Park, Highlands Park, Mill Creek Sports Park, and Nickel Creek Park. Last but not least, there is, of course, the original golf course the community was…Read more

  • Let Me Tell You About the Time I Didn’t Have a House- Part 2

    February 19, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    “I think I can see our house from here,” I said. “Where?” Ellie said. “There.” “That’s a medieval tower. Also: we don’t have a house.” “Oh,” I said, squinting. “Yes. I suppose you’re right.” Oliver, Ellie, and I were sitting up in the hills above Glendalough, looking down at the ruins of the medieval monastery in the valley below. Crowds of tourists wandered among the buildings, clustering together like ants, pausing every now and again to take selfies in front of the stone buildings. “I mean, I guess we could live in a medieval tower,” I said. “I don’t think there are any rules against it. Medieval towers were good enough for folks once upon a time, and it’s not like we have too many options at this point.” “There are definitely rules against it,” Ellie said. “Are you sure?” “Pretty sure.” Our decision to bus to Glendalough was a result of our mounting frustration with our housing search. We’d grown tired of our routine, tired of filling out applications and receiving no response, tired of sharing a hostel with strangers. In particular, I’d developed a supreme distaste for watching our eccentric, suit-wearing, Tesco-loving friend gurgle his way through breakfast…Read more

  • On Moving. A blog post from our very own blog writer :)

    January 15, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    I walked into my room the other day and was surprised to find some suitcases stacked in the corner. After a few moments’ reflection, I remembered that I’ll be moving in a week. It was a strange feeling, standing there and thinking about how easy it was to pack my life into three compact bags. I’m no stranger to moving. When I was four, my family traveled from New Jersey to Washington State by train. We spent the next few years moving around the Puget sound, shuttling our possessions to Burien, then Federal Way, and then Olalla, before finally settling in a house in the Crescent Valley neighborhood of Gig Harbor. Something about these trips must have given me the travel bug. In the last three years of my life, for instance, I’ve lived in Portland, Dublin, Portland again, and Austin. And now, a mere six months later, I find myself preparing to leave once again. Writing for Pickett Street has given me a different perspective on the concept of moving. Suddenly, after years of living out of a backpack (occasionally two backpacks, when I find myself acquiring more possessions than I ought to), I’m contemplating mortgages, property values, the…Read more