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The Decatur: Cheaper to Own than Renting?

March 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Decatur, Featured

rsz_decatur_view

decatur awningWe’ve recently received a study claiming that it’s now more cost-effective to own at The Decatur Condominiums than it is to rent in the popular First Hill neighborhood.  This study compares one and two bedroom homes in The Decatur to comparable properties offered at nearby apartment buildings.  It considers variable market dynamics including lower selling prices, FHA financing, historically low interest rates, rising rents and tax advantages for homebuyers.  The chart they provided contains two scenarios tallied over a period of five years aggregating the total housing costs for both renting and owning, and you can tap onto it here– The_Decatur_Chart.

The study also referred to a recent Puget Sound Business Journal article headlined “Ascent of Rent” , which takes a look at rental rate increases, plus the lack of new condominium projects scheduled for development.  This article also covers the number of rental properties slated for construction–subject, as always, to funding availability.    

decatur interiorMore than 80% sold, The Decatur has 146-units comprised of one and two bedroom homes starting from just $187,500.  Built in 1950, the concrete and steel high-rise landmark was substantially renovated in 2006 and 2007, and converted to condominiums before the market corrected.  Prices are now up to 40% below the original sales prices.  Take a look at the links we’ve provided and if you’d like more information or to schedule a private tour, just contact us at urgent@stroupe.com.

First Hill Streetcar: Funded and Moving Forward!

rsz_streetcar_with_cred

This was a great week for rail news! We posted an article on high-speed trains a few days ago and now we have word that the Sound Transit Board has finalized $132.8 million in funding for the First Hill Streetcar line. Covering a 2 ½-mile route, construction is expected to begin in 2011 and finish in 2013.

Plans are to link the First Hill Streetcar line to the Capitol Hill and Chinatown/International Districts. Stops are planned at nearby light rail stops, the medical centers of Harborview, Swedish, and Virginia Mason, plus Seattle Central Community College and Seattle University.

Monies for the line were approved by the voters two years ago, but initial plans were being made to put an underground light rail stop on First Hill. This has now been officially scrapped due to construction problems and the cost to cover them.  Steps are now being taken to select a general contractor/ construction manager, and is expected to be awarded the week of December 13th.

Finally, before the first shovel of dirt is ceremoniously turned for the First Hill line, the City Council needs to decide two outstanding issues.  The first is where to place the terminals in Pioneer Square.  Community meetings will be set up with local residents and business leaders to determine the best locations, and then submitted for a vote. The second is for a maintenance yard and barn. Two sites under consideration are the city’s Charles Street Shops at South Dearborn and 8th Avenue South, and at a block bordered by East Yesler Way, Boren and 12th Avenues, plus East Fir Street.  The latter choice is owned by the Seattle Housing Authority, and would need their approval.

Down the track, the First Hill line could be extended another half a mile at its most northern stop on Capitol Hill, as well as extending a mile into downtown to connect to the South Lake Union line.  The extensions would need federal funding, but it’s expected that their grants of up to $75 million could cover both projects.  

For more project info, just click on this link.

The Decatur: First Hill Finery, with a Neighborly Touch

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Decatur, Featured, FirstHill, Wysong Group, Zipcar

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You may find yourself torn as to what you want in a condominium home. You thrive in the high energy of a city. Then you come across a photo of a street with big, shady trees and think, “I’ll never find that here”. Surprise! The Decatur Condominiums not only offers you a neighborhood lifestyle but you’re also minutes away from a lot of Seattle living. And, at up to 35 percent off its original prices, The Decatur is a bargain to boot!

The Decatur was designed by Space Needle architect John Graham Jr. in 1950. The recent restoration and upgrading of its 13 stories by Wysong Group (who also worked on Tobira and the Press) now feature 146 one-bedroom (starting at $189,950) and two-bedroom (starting at $269,950) homes. There are four floor plans to choose from, all homes sporting Brazilian cherry wood floors, plush carpeting, granite countertops and top-of-the line stainless steel appliances.

rsz_decatur_view

If you’re into green living, this building is a beauty. It has a Zipcar service plus a parking area for bikes and scooters. You’ll also be living in what’s ranked as Seattle’s third most “walkable” neighborhood. Want a place with views? From the ground floor where you enter from tree-lined streets, to the rooftop terrace with wraparound city, mountain and water views, there is beauty from top to toe. Is security an issue? You have a controlled access entry with CCTV surveillance. There’s even a live-in building manager.

rsz_decatur_compo

But what’s really nice about The Decatur is that when you come home from a busy city day, you really feel as if you’re not IN the city anymore. Its First Hill location is in one of Seattle’s most established neighborhoods, which prides itself in keeping its streets quiet and safe. Neighboring buildings and homes are beautiful and carefully kept. Actually, it’s hard to believe that all this peace and quiet is sandwiched between two of the hottest areas in Seattle. To the north is the edge of Capitol Hill’s Pike/Pine neighborhood, and to the south is Downtown. Both areas have something for everyone, with a wide range of shops, restaurants, culture and nightlife.

The Decatur is located at the foot of Capitol Hill on the corner of Boren Avenue and Spring Street. Over 65 percent sold, The Decatur is ready for immediate move-in. Take advantage of their final sales release, with FHA financing* available. There’s also 3.5% down payment options, and closing cost credits available.

Want to check it out?  Contact us at this link!

NOTE: Seller reserves the right to change the product offering without notice. *Financing assumes 3.5% down payment (FHA) on a 30 year fixed mortgage with a 2-1 buy down by seller for 2.25% interest first year, 3.25% interest second year and 4.25% thereafter. Payment includes P&I and MI. (HOA dues and taxes not included). This is not a commitment to lend – certain restrictions and qualifications required. E&OE.

Luxury Downtown Seattle Listings

March 31, 2010 by  
Filed under 1521, Featured, First Hill Plaza, WFP

Realogics | Sotheby’s International Realty has given us some additional exposure internationally, which in turn has increased our ability to showcase luxury properties.  Take a look at these spectacular Seattle condos by clicking on their view below.

Fifteen Twenty-One

Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass & unparalleled Sound, Mountain, Space Needle & city views are the cornerstone of this luxury urban enclave, designed for those with the most discriminating of taste.

Click the View for Listing Details

Click the View for Listing Details

Waterfront Place

Embrace city living in this tranquil, spacious, yet intimate unit in the exclusive Waterfront Place. Interiors by Holly McKinley.

Click the View for More Details

Click the View for Listing Details

First Hill Plaza

Unparalleled 270 degree views of downtown Seattle from this custom designed sub-penthouse condo. Best designers with no expense spared on this elegant unit.

Click the View for Listing Details

Click the View for Listing Details

If you are interested in listing your luxury property, contact us to learn more about our savvy marketing and global network.

“Now’s The Time” – Pryde + Johnson Announces Condo Clearance Sale in Ballard and Greenlake

FloreraInGreenlake.com for more info.

FloreraInGreenlake.com for more info.

We have recently been given a press release from Pryde + Johnson regarding another bulk buy sales strategy for LEED Silver (targeted) built Hjarta in Ballard and Florera in Greenlake – units will be sold at up to 35% off original pricing in an alternative to auctions.

“We’re meeting the market on price and are committed to selling through as condominiums,” said Curt Pryde, principal of Pryde + Johnson and developer of both Hjarta and Florera Condominiums. “Homebuyers will also benefit from our preferred selection, FHA financing (3.5% down payment), today’s low interest rates and other limited-time incentives such as Federal tax credits up to $8,000 (for purchases contracted before April 30, 2010).”

As we understand it, several dozen sales have been generated to date using the sales strategy at The Decatur and Eleven Eleven East Pike. Rather than slowly lowering prices over a longer period of time (which seems systemic at many projects), Realogics was able convince the developer and their lender to explore more dramatic cuts in hopes of garnering quicker sales.  The block of sales also helps shore up FHA financing and unit appraisals.  In theory, this establishes a stabilized market value for the remaining sales while resolves a common concern amongst “wait and see” buyers that prices will drop further after buying.  Hjarta and Florera will be undergoing a similar strategy and should offer some great deals for those who take advantage.

Studios (578 – 598 sq. ft.) will start from $244,950
One bedrooms (614 – 921 sq. ft.) will start from $274,950
One bedroom plus dens (792 – 923 sq. ft.) will start from $314,950
Two bedrooms (1,037 – 1,447 sq. ft.) will start from $399,950
Two bedrooms plus den penthouses (1,331 – 1,578 sq. ft.) will start from $589,950
Three bedroom plus den penthouses (1,909 sq. ft.) will start from $799,950

HjartaInBallard.com for more info.

HjartaInBallard.com for more info.

Pryde + Johnson appears to be motivated to sell now so buyers can take advantage of the extended homebuyer tax credit, and today’s historically low rates.  Since rates will soon begin to climb, and the homebuyer tax credit will soon expire, these are exceptional opportunities for buyers who are interested in living outside the urban core, but within one of two prime urban neighborhoods.  The official sales release will begin on March 27 but you can preview in advance – open houses will be scheduled for each weekend or by appointment.  March 27th is the same weekend as Escala reintroduces sales at price drops and 5th & Madison auctions their remaining inventory so it should be a marketplace as buyers hunt down bargains.

PRESS RELEASE

Schedule a Showing

DisclaimerThese projects are listings of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s “special projects” division, which is affiliated but independent of the “resale” division co-founded by James Stroupe and Moira Holley.

Stroupe Group Exclusive Websites for Buildings

We wanted to take a moment to share a beneficial service we provide for both buyers and sellers looking at downtown Seattle real estate.  Over the last couple of years, we have built a collection of websites for buildings downtown, and have many more in the hopper.  Our intention with these websites is to allow each unique address to convey its own personality online.

Every site we build for a condo building allows a visitor to:

  • View active units for sale,
  • View the past three years of sold history,
  • Sign up for instant email notifications of new listings,
  • Inquire about a particular unit’s value,
  • See a neighborhood map and WalkScore,
  • Look at a photo gallery of amenities, and
  • Get building management/concierge contact information.

In addition, whenever we have a seller that lists with the Stroupe Group, we integrate a customized page with professional photography.  All of our building websites also place at the top of all major search engines for maximum exposure, and we also use linking strategies to further secure placement.

Visit our current project: EscalaTower.com

Below is a list of other websites that are constantly being improved, and we would love to hear any suggestions on how we can make them better.

Sample Gallery

BelltownParc.com

BelltownParc.com

FifteenTwenty-One.com

FifteenTwenty-One.com

LiveAtTheVine.com

LiveAtTheVine.com

AvenueOneCondos.com

AvenueOneCondos.com

GalleryInBelltown.com

GalleryInBelltown.com

CristallaBuilding.com

CristallaBuilding.com

Bulk Buy Sells 20 out of 30 Units Released!

November 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Decatur, Eleven Eleven Pike, Featured

Congratulations to Realogics for making an impressive amount of sales at The Decatur and Eleven Eleven East Pike with their Bulk Buy sales program!  Neither building had previously had any sales for the year.  Since releasing 21 condos at Decatur and 9 others at Eleven Eleven, 20 buyers have snatched up the opportunity.

Based on the 20 sales to date, [Sam] Cunningham (Managing Broker and Partner of Realogics Brokerage, LLC) estimates buyers purchased at prices that were between 25 and 30 percent off previous list prices, depending on the product. The pending block of sales are also helping unit appraisers by using an inter-building value matrix instead of relying solely on surrounding market comps. Third party comps alone may temporarily suppress unit values, given the increased activity of condo auctions and short sales within the marketplace.

If you have been considering the option of taking advantage of this program, please read the full press release and contact us for more info.

Exclusive Peek at Price List for Decatur & Bulk-Buy Details!

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Decatur, Featured, Wysong Group

Comments Off

priceWhat is bulk-buy? How do you explain it?

In a bulk-buy, homes are generally released in phases at a perceived lower listing price to determine how quickly they sell. The number of units selling within each phase determines how much buyers will pay range from a set high and low price point. The price per square foot and its range will justifiably go up from Phase 1 if a large number of buyers seek to take advantage of the initial price reduction. Generally, developers won’t discount on an individual unit sale basis, and while block unit purchases from sophisticated investor groups are becoming more common, most sellers and lenders want to limit rentals to preserve home values and maintain control over resale inventory.

Overhead costs and days on the market require a higher return from sales, therefore the faster they move, the more savings can be made to the developer and the buyers. It’s a win-win. The most attractive aspect of this program, from our perspective, is that rather than slowly reducing prices over the course of the next several months, they were simply reduced to below perceived market value. Today, a buyer for Decatur can purchase a 2-bedroom condo in a downtown-urban neighborhood, with updated interiors and views, from a renowned architect, for under $300,000! We challenge anybody to find a better deal. Expectations are that the first phase will sell well, and the increased price point and amount of available homes during the second phase will still be low. No reason to play games with negotiations, sales pitches, or bidding.  Decatur is looking to give the best possible deal to those who recognize the deal for what it is–an incentive that really can’t be beat.

Contact us here for showing opportunities

'The Dean' 1-Bedroom/1-Bath

'The Dean' 1-Bedroom/1-Bath

What kind of commitment does a buyer have to make to take advantage of these prices?

Initially, none!

In fact, reserving a specific unit at a defined price range to see how the bulk-buying concept will interpret into lower prices is very easy. All a buyer needs to do is to sign a reservation and deliver a fully refundable deposit of $500. When the results of the bulk sale is known, the buyer will have the option to accept the price, or reject it and have the deposit refunded. Try that with an auction.

There is also talk that Colbalt Mortgage (preferred lender) is working out a limited amount of 0% down financing options for select units. We do not have the details yet, but please email us for updates on progress of financing.

decatur_view

Ok, so the situation and need to sell units has been established, and the pricing/financing sounds good. What about the building? After all, it’s over 50 years old!

The building was indeed built in the 1950′s, but the architect was not one of mediocrity. John Graham Jr. won international acclaim for his design of the Space Needle, and his firm has also been noted for their work on Seattle’s Westin and Sheraton Hotels. The Wysong Group has also worked on the restoration and conversion of the property to include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, wood flooring, and other additional features. The structure itself contains new windows. The primary electrical distribution has been redone, and the plumbing was converted to copper.  All and all, this is another sales strategy The Stroupe Group would like to chalk up as another “good deal”, and an excellent opportunity for those patient first-time buyers.

One thing to note before it comes as a surprise later… of what we are currently familiar with (63 homes), only 23 parking spaces are being offered to 2-bedroom and “premium” 1-bedroom buyers for $20,000 to 25,000. Time is limited to take full advantage of not only a rare financing opportunity in a desired location with a charming address, but also a low price point and an $8,000 tax credit.

Contact us here for showing opportunities

As of today, Decatur already has nine reservations (with backup offers), and marketing attempts have only been made by sending press releases to us local bloggers.

Additional information about the special offer is still being released, and we’ll post floorplans as we get them. In the meantime, here’s that price list:
price_list

What View Would You Rather See From Your Living Room?

March 17, 2009 by  
Filed under 1521, Featured, First Hill Plaza

There’s no arguing that a water view seems to have the most value. But, is it what everybody really wants? Most of those who move here from out of town see our beautiful skyline in pictures. Doing a Google image search for Seattle will bring up pictures of city lights, the Space Needle, and Pike Place Market. Is the water view really more valuable than less water, and more skyline?

It was difficult to find day and night images, so imagine both when making your vote.

water_view

Fifteen Twenty-One

skyline

First Hill Plaza


The Meridian – 1420 Terry Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

Address: 1420 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98101
Neighborhood: Downtown/First Hill

CONDOS FOR SALE

Here you can find all active listings at The Meridian. If your dream condo is not listed, sign-up to be instantly notified by email.

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Sign-Up to receive an instant email notification of new The Meridian condos for sale as soon as they hit the market. Membership also includes a monthly review of all activity for this building.

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DESCRIPTION

Developed by Taliesen Corporation, The Meridian is closer to everything than expected. Located in the First Hill neighborhood, residents are within a short distance of everything in downtown Seattle. Minutes from Benaroya Hall, Safeco Field, Wild Ginger, Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, Pacific Place and Westlake Mall, this is urban living at its most convenient. All units feature slab granite countertops, limestone tile flooring, gas cooktop, gas fireplace, forced air heating, air conditioning, and Cat 5 wiring. In addition, each unit has a balcony, parking, and storage. Luxury amenities include a 24-concierge, fitness room, hot tub, steam room, media/home theater, conference room, club lounge, and guest suite.

PICTURES

BUILDING DATA

  • Year Built: 2002
  • Number of Units: 158
  • Number of Stories: 26
  • Exterior: Brick, Cement/Concrete
  • Parking: Common Garage
  • Pets: Subj. to Restriction
  • H/O Dues Included: Central Hot Water, Earthquake Ins., Garbage, Water/Sewer
  • Common Property Features & Amenities: Cable TV, Concierge, Disabled Access, High Speed Elevator, Exercise Room, Fire Sprinklers, Game/Rec Room, Guest Suite, High Speed Internet Available, Hot Tub, Lobby Entrance

NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS

  • ACT Theatre
  • Bambuza Vietnamese Bistro
  • Benson’s Grocery
  • The Eagle
  • Goods
  • Paramount Theater
  • Six Arms
  • Standard Home
  • Summerfield Suites
  • Tango Restaurant & Lounge
  • Union Park Grocery & Deli
  • Utrecht Art Supply
  • Union Square Grill
  • Virginia Mason Hospital
  • Washington State Convention Ctr

VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD MAP

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

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*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.