Development in Seattle

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Ballard Cottage GardenI moved back to Seattle from Port Townsend a few years ago and had a picture of a patchwork of lovely neighborhoods as they were in the early nineties. Today I am watching the demise of a single family home which is being replaced by four towering modern structures. It is rising behind the neighbor’s homes across the street, blocking their views and shading their properties.

I did a little research on the new project and see that a developer bought it for about 675k and has a mortgage of over 1.3 million. The parcel is zoned L3. It was owned by the same person since 2000 so was ripe for a sale as many people sell after ten years on average.

The owners probably just wanted to take a short-cut in the sale process and may think that it is worth it, although most often the higher price is attained by exposing the home to the market.

The assessed value of that house was 468k but the high range value estimate from the “Realist” program that I have access to was 716k – of course that depends on the condition. It sold for just over the Zillow estimate which many people believe in:

SOLD: $675,000
Sold on 06/08/15
Zestimate®: $653,156

If the home is in disrepair, old and zoned other than single family it is probably on a developer’s or real estate broker’s mailing list. Homes that have been occupied over ten years may also be on a mailing list.

My thought is that if you live in a neighborhood you cherish and don’t want to see this happen, appeal to your neighbors through a blog or newsletter. Offer to help them with cleanup and moving as these things may seem to loom.

There is more than one way to preserve a neighborhood.