Link Light Rail Affects Real Estate Prices

It can be tough to get around in Seattle and on the Eastside. As we add hundreds of people per week to our expanding city, and even more to the whole area, the problem is not going to go away anytime soon. More-flexible work schedules and people working from home will certainly help, but in the coming years, as Link light rail expands, the value of properties around those light rail stops were expected to go up. But now there is a study that substantiates that!

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The Future of Puget Sound Area Traffic

Sound Transit has put forth an ambitious plan, called the Sound Transit 3 Plan, to extend Light Rail service throughout the Puget Sound area. The plan is currently receiving public feedback from a number of neighborhood meetings being held throughout the different neighborhoods that will be affected. The finalized plan may be on the ballot in November. All residents (not just homeowners – renters too!) need to be aware of the expansion plan, the timeline, and the bottom line. I encourage you to go to one of the live meetings if you are able to do so. Continue reading

Shopping for a home – and a Parking Spot – in Seattle

Although many homes in Seattle come equipped with a garage and driveway, there are many homes in the older neighborhoods which are not so lucky, leaving neighbors vying for coveted curb space. Additionally, if you are a couple purchasing a condo in the Downtown area, the condo may come with a parking spot in the garage for a single vehicle, but perhaps not two. Therefore if you are buying in Seattle, thinking about what you are going to do about parking if your home or condo doesn’t come with enough spots to park your car is something that should indeed be on your mind.

We have forces working both for the parking-challenged and against them at the moment. With more micro-housing being built in Downtown which attracts Millennials who may be more likely to take advantage of public transportation, the parking problem may be alleviated in some areas. However, with more people moving to Seattle, that is going to make the overall problem a bigger challenge.

In neighborhoods where neighbors vy for street parking in front of their own house, the introduction of a neighbor with yet another car to park can be a challenge. It is important to remember that no one owns the parking spots on the street and while it is courteous to allow people to park in front of their own homes, it is not the law, so don’t assume that if you purchase a home, the spot on the street is yours.

I have seen extra parking spots in condo complexes go for $15,000 and up, making this a large expense in addition to the property you may be purchasing – if there is one available.

My advice? Make sure you don’t overlook this critical component in buying a home or condo in Seattle. Make a plan if the home you are making an offer on doesn’t include parking. Contact me to learn more! Steve Laevastu: or give me a call: (206)-226-5300

Walkability: A New Way To Look At Real Estate

If a move is in your future and you are looking for a location with easy access to mass transit, shopping, services, and bike trails, I use a tool in my business that provides buyers and homeowners with a “Walkability” analysis score. This feature has been very helpful for a number of my clients who want a true urban lifestyle with easy access.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle has ranked as the 6th “high walkable urbanism” area in the US after Washington DC, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago based on urban development based on a report, Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros put out by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business. measures similar variables such as proximity to grocery stores, transit, and access to bike routes and provides a score for each address. ranks Seattle as a whole as a “71” – meaning that most errands can be accomplished on foot. However, let’s take a closer look at Downtown Seattle, listed as the most walkable neighborhood in Seattle. It has a Walkscore of 98 with a Transit score of 100 and a Bike score of 66.

I have listings in a number of neighborhoods in Seattle. Here is how they measure up on

1606 NE 75th St in Ravenna:

  • Walk Score: 72 – Very Walkable
  • Transit Score: 52 – Good Transit
  • Bike Score: 72 – Very Bikeable

11038 Fremont Ave N in Broadview:

  • Walk Score: 60 – Somewhat Walkable
  • Transit Score: 50 – Good Transit
  • Bike Score: 57 –Bikeable

8008 Meridian Ave N in Greenlake:

  • Walk Score: 58 – Somewhat Walkable
  • Transit Score: 50 – Good Transit
  • Bike Score: 63 – Bikeable

How does your property stack up in terms of walkability? Type in your address at:

If you have questions about how walkability impacts your home value, please contact me: (206) 226-5300 or