Monthly Newsletter

Why we are NOT heading for a housing bubble

Double-digit price appreciation has taken place for over 3 years now, so prices are up. Way up. In fact, in just the last year we have seen prices rise 14% year-over-year. When talking with people about our real estate market, the conversation often involves the question, “are we headed toward a bubble?” I get asked this question often, and I can understand why. With the Great Recession not too far back in our rear-view mirror, the fear that surrounds the bottom dropping out in our home values is real. The large price gains might seem familiar to the gains of the previous up market of 2004-2007, but the environment is much different, and that is why we are not headed toward a housing collapse.

Lending Requirements & Down Payments
Previous lending practices allowed people to get into homes with high debt-to-income ratios, low credit scores, risky loan programs, and undocumented incomes. They called this sub-prime lending. This led to the housing bubble bursting 10 years ago – because people received mortgages they were not equipped to handle. Borrowers were not properly qualified for their monthly payments, and with minimal down payments they had no skin in the game. There were also a ton of adjustable rate mortgages and interest-only loans, which created negative equity positions. In July 2007, the sub-prime loan products disappeared and literally became history overnight. This eliminated a large part of the buyer pool creating over supply, not to mention the foreclosures that followed due to these ill-equipped homeowners walking away. The combination of these two factors caused prices to plummet.

Conversely, in March of this year, the average credit score for an approved conventional loan according to Ellie Mae was 752. Banks are scrutinizing their borrowers much more thoroughly than in the past. Credit scores are only the start; solid documentation of employment, assets, and debt are all passed through strict underwriting standards before closing. During the days of sub-prime lending, banks were funding loans with scores as low as 560! This, coupled with many zero-down loan programs and the risky terms mentioned above, left many new homeowners with little to no equity. When you have little or no equity it is very easy to bail.

In addition to heartier credit scores, down payments have increased significantly. According to Attom Data Solutions the average down payment is 18%. To put this in perspective, the median price in Seattle Metro in the first quarter of 2018 was $775,000. 18% of that is $139,500! There is a marked difference in the connection to one’s investment with such a large amount on the line versus the common 0% down loans of the sub-prime era. When people have high equity levels they are not likely to abandon their home or miss payments.

Our Thriving Local Economy, Job Creation & Californians
According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, it is forecasted that there will be 46,000 more jobs in the Seattle Metro area in 2018. This has created high numbers of residual migration into our area from other states. In 2016 there were 50,000 people that moved here, and 47,000 in 2017. Many of these new Washingtonians are former Californians, specifically from the Bay Area. Unbelievably, our prices are attractive to this group, as they can take a similar tech job here and make the same income with a lower cost of living. If untethered and up for a move, it’s a no-brainer.

The most influential factor that has led the run on prices has been low inventory levels coupled with high housing demand. It’s simply the concept of supply and demand. The growth of companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook in our area has created increased demand, especially for homes closer to job centers resulting in shorter commutes. When you have increased demand and not enough homes to absorb the buyers, prices go up. Over the last three years we have easily seen a 10%+ increase in prices year-over-year. That is above the norm, and will slow down once inventory increases. That slowdown will be welcomed and it will not be a collapse in values or a bubble bursting.

Interest Rates
Interest rates are increasing, and it is predicted they will reach close to 4.95% by the end of the year. This will naturally curtail price growth because it will not be as cheap to borrow money, which will cause buyers to temper their pricing ceilings. Bear in mind, that an interest rate of 4.95% is still historically low, we’ve just been incredibly fortunate to be able to secure long term loans with minimal debt service. The average interest rate over the last 30 years is 7%.

I understand that the recent increase in home prices has been big and that it might remind you of the previous up market before the crash. I hope that digging into the topics above has shed some light on how it is different. I always welcome the opportunity to have a conversation about these hot topics and discern how they relate to you. As always, it is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or help you or anyone you know with their real estate needs.

 

Tax Reform

Now that the 2017 tax deadline has come and gone it is time to think about how the new tax reform of 2018 might affect you next year.  A few notable items are the limited mortgage interest rate deduction capped at $750,000, limited property tax deduction capped at $10,000 and moving expenses can only be written off by members of the armed services.  Read the full article here and take notes, so you are prepared for next year’s tax season.

 

Windermere Foundation

Thanks to your continued support, the Windermere Foundation collected over $330,000 in donations in the first quarter of 2018. Fifty-eight percent of the donations came from individual contributions and fundraisers, while 42 percent came from donations through Windermere agent sales transactions. This brings our grand total to $35,869,961 raised since 1989. We are very close to reaching the $36-million mark! These funds go towards supporting low-income and homeless families right here in our local community.

Thanks again for all you do to support the Windermere Foundation. Together, we are able to make a difference for those in need in our local communities.

For the full first quarter 2018 report, please visit the Windermere blog, and to learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit www.windermere.com/foundation.

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 9:20 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Farmer’s Market Schedule – 2018

 

  • South Snohomish County •

 

Arlington Farmers Market
Legion Park: 200 N. Olympic Ave
Saturdays. 10am-3pm | July 7 — Sept 29

 

Bothell Farmers Market
Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy
Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Bothell South County Community Market
Park Ridge Church: 3805 Maltby Road, Bothell
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | June 6—Sept 26

 

Edmonds Garden Market
Historical Museum: Between 5th & Bell Street
Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—June 9

 

Edmonds Summer Market
Downtown: 5th St from the fountain
Saturdays 9am-3pm | June 16—Oct 6

 

Everett Farmers Markets
Boxcar Park: 615 13th Street
Sundays 11am-4pm | May 13—Oct 14

 

Everett Transit Center: 2333 32nd St
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 23—Sept 26

 

Marysville Farmers Market
1035 State Ave
Saturdays 10am-2pm | June 23—Sept 1

 

Monroe Farmer’s Market
Lake Tye Park: 14964 Fryelands Blvd
Saturdays 8:30am-12:30pm | May 12—Nov 17

 

Mukilteo Farmers Market
Lighthouse Park: 609 Front Street
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Sept 27

 

Snohomish Farmers Market
The intersection of Cedar Ave & Pearl St.
Thursdays 3pm-7pm | May 3—Sept 27

 

 

  • The Eastside •

 

Bellevue Farmers Market
First Presbyterian: 1717 Bellevue Way NE
Thursdays. 3pm-7pm | May 17—Oct 11

Bothell Farmers Market
Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy
Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Issaquah Farmers Market
Pickering Barn: 1730 10th Ave NW
Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—Sept 29

 

Juanita Friday Market
Juanita Beach Park: 9703 NE Juanita Dr
Fridays. 3pm-7pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Mercer Island Farmers Market
Mercerdale Park: 7700 SE 32nd St
Sundays 10am-3pm | June 3—Oct 7

 

Redmond Saturday Market
Redmond Town Center: 7730 Leary Way NE
Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Oct 27

 

Sammamish Farmers Market
City Hall Plaza: 801 228th Ave SE
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 9—Sept 26

 

Woodinville Farmers Market
DeYoung Park: 13680 NE 175th St
Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Sept 29

 

 

  • Seattle Area •

 

Ballard Farmers Market
Ballard Ave NW
Sundays. 10am-3pm | Year round

 

Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market
Seattle Central Comm College: Broadway & Pine
Sundays 11am-3pm | Year round

 

Columbia City Farmers Market
37th Ave S & S Edmunds St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 9—Oct 10

Fremont Sunday Market
Corner of 3410 Evanston Ave N
Sundays 10am-4pm | Year round

 

Lake City Farmers Market
125th St and 28th Ave NE
Thursdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Oct 4

 

Lake Forest Park Farmers Market
Third Place Commons: 17171 Bothell Way NE
Sundays 10am-3pm | May 13—Oct 21

Madrona Farmers Market
1126 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Fridays 3pm-7pm | May 18—Oct 12

 

Magnolia Farmers Market
Magnolia Village: 33rd Ave W & W McGraw
Saturdays. 10am-2pm | June 2—Oct 20

 

Phinney Farmers Market
Phinney Neighborhood Center: Phinney Ave N
Fridays 3:30pm-7:30pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Pike Place Farmers Market
Pike Place & Pine St
Saturdays 9am-5pm | June 2—Nov 24

Queen Anne Farmers Market
W Crockett Street & Queen Anne Ave N
Thursdays 3pm-7:30pm | June 7—Oct 11

 

Shoreline Farmers Market
15300 Westminster Ave N
Saturdays 10am-3pm | June 9—Oct 6

 

University District Farmers Market
University Way NE “the Ave”
Saturdays 9am-2pm | Year round

 

Wallingford Farmers Market
Meridian Park: Meridian Ave N & N 50th St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 16—Sept 26

 

West Seattle Farmers Market
California Ave SW & SW Alaska St
Sundays 10am-2pm | Year round

Posted on April 28, 2018 at 5:01 am
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Does it make more sense to rent or own?

The current break-even horizon* in the Seattle metro area is 1.6 years!

*The amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision.

 

With rising rental rates, historically low interest rates, and home prices on the rise, the advantage of buying vs. renting is becoming clearer each month.

 

In fact, Seattle has seen some of the sharpest rent hikes in the country over the last year! Snohomish County has seen a huge increase in apartment growth and rising rental rates as well. There are several factors to consider that will lead you to make the best decision for your lifestyle and your financial bottom line. Zillow Research has determined the break-even point for renting vs. buying in our metro area. In other words, the amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision. Currently in Seattle the break-even point is 1.6 years – that is quick! What is so great about every month that ticks away thereafter is that your nest egg is building in value.

 

I am happy to help you or someone you know assess your options; please contact me anytime.

 

These assumptions are based on a home buyer purchasing a home with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and a 20 percent down payment; and a renter earning five percent annually on investments in the stock market.

Posted on April 28, 2018 at 5:00 am
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Veggie Planting in Seattle

It’s not too late! If you’re thinking about planting some fresh veggies but haven’t started yet, you still have time to get things in the ground for a late summer/early fall harvest. On average, the Puget Sound’s frost-free growing season is mid-March through mid-November, so with a little knowledge of when and how to start things, you can still see a bountiful harvest this year.

Some plants can be direct seeded into your garden, while others should be started indoors before being transplanted to your garden space. Deciding what to grow is the fun part! Plant what you like to eat, keeping in mind that some plants do better in our area than others.

Broccoli is arguably one of the most productive veggies you can grow in this area, although it can be vulnerable to root maggots and aphids. Giant Italian Parsley is easy to grow, highly productive, and expensive in the grocery store. Leeks are another that can be costly to buy in the store but trouble-free to grow in your own small space. Chard, Kale, Lettuce and Arugula are all full of vitamins and great for Northwest gardens. Carrots, Snap Peas, Snap Beans, Tomatoes and Basil all taste amazing fresh from the garden and grow relatively well in this area.

Check out the great resources at Garden.org for a full list of when to plant all these vegetables and more. They have detailed timelines for both spring and fall gardening; as well as information on transplanting seedlings vs. direct-sowing seeds.

Posted on April 28, 2018 at 4:57 am
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Monthly Newsletter

What the Same House Sold for 3 Years Later!
Price Appreciation Case Studies in South Snohomish & North King Counties

18407 62nd Pl W, Lynnwood  •  3 bedroom  •  1,305 sq ft

 

Sold in September 2014

$315,000

 

Sold in July 2017

$450,000

 

$135,000 INCREASE IN HOME VALUE: 42.85%

 

17836 1st Ave NE, Shoreline  •  4 bedroom  •  2,917 sq ft

 

Sold in November 2014

$560,000

 

Sold in January 2018
$800,000

 

$240,000 INCREASE IN HOME VALUE: 42.85%

 

Since 2014, home values have grown by over 10% each year, resulting in a resounding 35% or more return in pricing. Above are some examples of actual homes sold in late 2017 to early 2018 that also sold in 2014, and that were not remodeled or significantly improved in between sales. These examples show the growth in home values that we have experienced over the last three years due to our thriving local economy. I pulled these examples to show you actual pound-for-pound market data versus the statistical percentages I often quote in these market updates. I thought these examples were pretty telling and quite exciting.

This phenomenon has been driven by a lack of available housing inventory and super high demand due to the robust job market in our area influenced by companies like Amazon. In 2017, there were 1,000 people moving into our area each week! According to census data, that trend is supposed to continue.

The large price gains might seem familiar to the gains of the previous up market of 2004-2007 that resulted in a bubble, but this environment is much different, which is why we are not headed toward a housing collapse. Previous lending practices allowed people to get into homes with risky debt-to-income ratios, low credit scores, and undocumented incomes. A large part of why the housing bubble burst 10 years ago was due to people getting into mortgages they were not equipped to handle, which lend to the eventual fall of sub-prime lending and the bubble bursting. Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist speaks to this topic in this video.

It is supply and demand that is creating these huge gains in prices. An increase in inventory would be healthy and would temper price growth. Many folks who have been waiting for their current home values to return in order to make big moves involving their retirement, upgrading homes, investing, or even buying a second home are well poised to enter the market. If you are one of those people, I hope these examples provide insight on the increase in home values and how they might pertain to your goals.

Potential buyers might shy away from the market due to affordability. While it is expensive to buy a home in the Greater Seattle area, the people that have become homeowners over the last three years have built some amazing wealth. Interest rates remain low, helping to absorb the cost of a home in our area. Last month, I wrote a Love Letter to Buyers which helped layout the advantages of participating in today’s market and how to be successful. If you or any one you know is considering making a purchase, it is worth the read.

As we head into the active spring and summer months, if you’d like me to provide you a complimentary Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) on your home, so you have a better understanding of your home’s value, I’d be happy to do that. This would be an important component in charting your 2018 financial goals, and what a great time of year to gather that information! It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions.

 

 

Celebrate Earth Day with us! Bring all your sensitive documents to be professionally destroyed on-site by Confidential Data Disposal. Limit 20 file boxes per customer.

We will also be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations to benefit Concern for Neighbors Food Bank. Donations are not required, but are appreciated.

Saturday, April 21st, 10am – 2pm.
4211 Alderwood Mall Blvd, Lynnwood 98036

*This is a shredding-only event. Only paper will be accepted – no electronics or recyclables.

 

 

 

Spring Gardening Tips to Help Get Your Yard Flourish-Ready

It is approaching that time of year when April showers will start to bring May flowers, so no better time to get outside to start prepping the garden. First, one must get their hands dirty cleaning out the beds, tending the soil and trimming back plants to prepare for new plantings and fresh growth. For a complete list of Spring gardening tips, click here.

Posted on April 3, 2018 at 12:21 am
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Cost vs Value Report

I am commonly asked which improvements sellers should make to get the greatest return on their home sale.  Every year The Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com) compiles all the information and analyzes the estimated percentage return on home improvements in each region.  Getting a home prepared for market requires a keen eye and great resources.  To access the entire Cost vs. Value report please visit www.costvsvalue.com and follow the steps to locate the Seattle area report.

 

Also, I have a great list of reputable contractors from HVAC to plumbing to roofing who are licensed and bonded in the State of Washington.  Please call on me whenever you need a solid recommendation.  I am happy to help whether you are getting your home ready for market or just want to find a good window washer now that the sun is starting to shine a little more.

 

Complete data from the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com

© Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 11:50 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Monthly Newsletter

I hope your Valentine’s Day was a sweet one, but it got me thinking. I am often sharing with you the advantages of this market for home sellers, which is unbelievably positive. With that said, I thought I’d take some time to give the potential buyers in our marketplace some love, hope, and of course, data!

Dear Greater Seattle Home Buyer,

Let’s just be up front: buying a home in today’s market is not easy. Quite frankly, it can be a wild roller coaster ride with twists and turns; but remember, folks pay a lot of money and stand in long lines for roller coaster rides. Imagine the excited pit in your stomach as the cart clicks up to the highest point before you plunge down a steep drop, and the thrill of raising your hands up because you trust that you are going to be okay. These emotions also accurately reflect the feelings of today’s home buyer – it can be a wild ride! Let’s also note that many roller coaster riders return to the back of the line right after getting off. Home ownership is also a good exercise to repeat and is often the investment that leads to the most built wealth in one’s life.

So how does one ensure that they are not the Nervous Nelly who stands in line for over an hour, finally makes it to the front to be strapped in to the cart, but who then chooses to bow out? The one that sits on the sidelines watching others throw up their hands with a thrill in their eye; the one with that tinge of regret as their friends rejoin them back on hallowed ground to recount their adventure. Wow, this is getting dramatic! Here are a few tips to follow that will ensure that one can find success securing a home in today’s market and get on the equity building train.

Waiting is Even More Expensive
In 2017, the year-over-year median price gains across our region were strong. In fact, here is a little break down.

North Snohomish County: $371,000 up 13%
South Snohomish County: $508,000 up 14%
North King County: $715,000 up 14%
Seattle Metro: $710,000 up 15%
South King County: $405,000 up 13%
Eastside: $865,000 up 15%

The appreciation is for real and as each month ticks by, prices are going up. That is why it is incredibly important to have a plan and realistic expectations. In referring to the chart above, it is plain to see the affordability of each area. Buyers have had to get creative and honest with themselves regarding the city or neighborhood in which they land. Commute times are one of the biggest indicators of home cost. It is paramount to line your budget up with a realistic commute time and then dig in. Too often I’ve seen buyers tightly grip to the idea of an in-city commute, only to have it end up being a more suburban choice in the end. The months wasted trying to perform in a market that didn’t match their budget ended up costing them at least 1% a month, based on last year’s appreciation. Getting real saves time, money, and heartache.

Interest Rates are a’Rising
This aspect is actually one to pay very close attention to. We have been amazingly spoiled with historically low interest rates over the last five years. In fact, there is an entire generation of buyers who only know rates that have hovered from 3.5 – 4.5% – that is close to 3 points under the 30-year average! A good rule of thumb regarding interest rates, is that for each 1-point increase a buyer loses 10% of their buying power. That means that if you have a $500,000 budget and the rate goes up by a point, that you are now shopping for a $450,000 house if you want the same payment. Note, that shift does not take appreciation into consideration. Today’s rates have helped buyers bear the home prices in our area. It is predicted that rates will rise in 2018 by .5 to 1%.

Rents are High and Don’t Build Wealth
Seattle is now the 5th most expensive city to rent in the country according to the US Census Bureau. With rising rental rates, still historically low interest rates, and home prices on the rise, the advantage of buying versus renting has become clear for folks who have a down payment saved, good debt-to-income ratios and strong credit. Currently, the breakeven horizon (the amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision vs. renting) in the Greater Seattle area is 1.6 years according to Zillow research.

Partner with a Broker Who Will Get the Job Done
A broker that has a process is key! It starts with an initial buyer consultation. I liken the buyer consultation to the seat belt you would wear on the roller coaster ride. When you go to the Dr. they start with your intake, check your vitals, ask questions, etc. The buyer consultation aims to unearth a buyer’s goals, research the areas they are interested in, address financing, and illustrate the challenges of the environment, so one can be successful. Time is money, and this consultation brings clarity, efficiency and trust. This upfront education coupled with a high level of communication and availability is paramount. The depth of the relationship will lead to success, and is the ingredient that enables a buyer to throw up their hands and take the thrilling plunge. It is hard to do that without a seat belt!

Get Your Finances in Order
Aligning with a trusted real estate professional is key, but so is aligning with a reputable and responsive mortgage lender. Getting pre-approved is the minimum, but getting pre-underwritten is a game changer. Finding a lender that is willing to put in the work up-front to vet credit, income, savings, debt, and all other financial indicators will lead to being pre-underwritten, which listing agents and sellers appreciate! Also, be aware that you do not always need to have a huge down payment to make a purchase work. Employment, assets, credit, and what you have saved all work into your ability to acquire a loan. I have seen plenty of people secure a home with 3-5% down. Education and awareness create clarity, and investing into understanding your financial footing equals empowered and more efficient decisions. Note that I mentioned “responsive”. This is a 24/7 market, and lenders who don’t work evenings and weekends can get in the way of a buyer securing a home. If you need a short list of lenders that fit this description, please contact me.

‘Tis the Season – Inventory is Coming
Have hope! This is the time of year where we see inventory climb month over month. There will be more selection, but bear in mind it is also the time of year that the appreciation push happens. If you are feeling 75-80% in love with a home, it is one to act on. You’re never going to “get it all”, so a willingness to focus on priorities will pay off, because waiting will have an expense.

If you or someone you know is considering a purchase in today’s market, please contact me. It is my pleasure to take the time to educate, devise a plan, and help buyers find success in a challenging, yet advantageous market.

 

 

Celebrate Earth Day with us! Bring all your sensitive documents to be professionally destroyed on-site by Confidential Data Disposal. Limit 20 file boxes per customer.

We will also be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations to benefit Concern for Neighbors Food Bank. Donations are not required, but are appreciated.

Saturday, April 21st, 10am – 2pm. EARTH DAY!
4211 Alderwood Mall Blvd, Lynnwood 98036

*This is a shredding-only event. Only paper will be accepted – no electronics or recyclables.

 

We are so fortunate here at Windermere to have Matthew Gardner help keep us informed on our economy and the real estate market.  Each quarter Matthew compiles in-depth research on counties from across Western Washington. Click here to download Matthew’s full Q4 2017 report.  Also, I recently hosted Matthew’s 2018 economic forecast for the Greater Seattle area and had it professionally recorded.  If you are interested in receiving access to view the entire presentation, please contact me and I’ll send it to you.

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 11:42 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Your Guide to Enjoying the Lake Washington Waterfront in Kenmore

Though the warm weather has passed, that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about next summer’s adventures. We asked our locals for some tips on enjoying the Lake Washington waterfront and they gave us their top insights.

Here is your guide to enjoying the Lake Washington waterfront in Kenmore (as recommended by our locals):

Saint Edward State Park

  • Located at 14445 Juanita Dr. N.E. Kenmore, WA 98028

When it comes to enjoying the waterfront in Kenmore, Saint Edward State Park (“set on the eastern shore of Lake Washington,” according to Claudette Meyer) cannot be beat. “This is the highlight of Kenmore in terms of getting out into the woods and feeling like you’re miles from home, but you’re not,” shares Jen Bowman. “Miles of hiking and wooded biking trails are found at this stunning state park. There’s a pretty hike from the top of the hill all the way down to Lake Washington (don’t forget good shoes since it’s a little steep). A huge playground next to the old seminary is a highlight for families.” Claudette seconds Jen’s recommendation, adding that “although we don’t get there often enough, my family and I love to explore the low forest hiking trails in Saint Edward State Park…Our more adventurous friends regularly go mountain biking on the many miles of trails in the park, with their 5 and 3-year-old in tow—there’s terrain for every skill level.” For a breath of fresh air the whole family will love, check out Saint Edward State Park today.

Log Boom Park

  • Located at 17415 61st Ave. N.E. Kenmore, WA 98028

Whether you’re looking to cool off or explore the local waters, you can do that and so much more at Log Boom Park. “Log Boom Park, just off the north end of the Lake and right next to Burke Gilman Trail is an awesome place to take a dip in the lake off of a huge elevated dock,” says Jen. “Lots of places to launch kayaks or stand up paddleboards. Great views of Mount Rainier can be found here and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Also, it’s a great spot to watch Kenmore Air departures and arrivals.” For a day filled with fun and relaxation, Log Boom Park has you covered.

Kenmore Boat Launch

  • Located at 17150 68th Ave. N.E. Kenmore, WA 98028

For those looking to get out on the water, the Kenmore Boat Launch is a secret gem. “The Kenmore boat launch is a hidden access point to Lake Washington,” says Casey Bui. “While it lacks a dock, it’s one of the few public boat launches in the northern half of Lake Washington. Its 2 boat launches and about 30 parking spaces are popular in the summer.”

“Launch the boat in Lake Washington,” says Jen. “[This] is the only public boat launch at the north end of Lake Washington. Parking can be very tight, so best to get there early on sunny summer days. Also a good spot to launch the paddle board or kayak and head east towards downtown Bothell on the slough. Lots of bird watching and very calm waters along the slough.” So, if you’re quick enough when those sunny summer days roll around, you can take advantage of all that Lake Washington has to offer at the Kenmore Boat Launch.

Sammamish River

Finally, if you’re still looking for ways to enjoy Lake Washington’s waterfront, rent a kayak and take it along the slow-moving Sammamish River. “Sammamish River [offers] kayaking rentals, located at the mouth leading to the north end of Lake Washington,” says Michele Kimes. Perfect for both beginners and more experienced kayakers, this river is one of the best ways to take in all of the beauty that makes the Lake Washington area such a popular warm-weather destination.


Posted on January 2, 2018 at 10:35 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Coming Soon to Kenmore: What You Can Expect in Kenmore’s Near Future

While Kenmore already offers a long list of excellent city amenities and a variety of housing options, there is always something new happening in the neighborhood. We wanted to take a moment to highlight 3 things you might especially be interested if you’re thinking about moving to Kenmore, and we talked to a couple of locals who have the scoop!

New Construction Homes

Curious about buying a home in Kenmore, WA? According to Jen Richardson-Bowman, “New construction abounds in Kenmore! It’s Northshore School District, so get ready for a little sticker shock!”

In Kenmore, you can expect to find some truly gorgeous homes. There are some incredible new construction homes, but there are older more established homes in the mix as well. Click here to take a quick look at some of Kenmore’s current home listings!

Lakepointe Waterfront Development

According to Michele Tenhulzen Kimes, “The waterfront development Lakepointe will transform the city by turning nearly 50 acres of industrial use space into shopping, dining and residential units.”

Located right on the shores of Lake Washington the Lakepointe development is a mixed-use development that will include a variety of land uses, and has been designed to “integrate the usage among residents, shoppers, vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.” The plan was actually started back in 1989, and the proposed development has gone through several years of a citizen task force working with the developer to create a successful space. Weidner and Associates plans to invest $1 billion in the project.


Downtown Kenmore

Downtown Kenmore has been undergoing some serious changes, and there are even more redevelopment projects underway in the near future! While the Kenmore Town Square is complete, a new Hangar community building is in the works, and upcoming developments also include a large restaurant, commercial space, healthcare facilities, and more. Click here for the full overview of what you can expect in this Kenmore destination!


Posted on January 2, 2018 at 10:34 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

4 Fun Family-Friendly Weekend Activities in Kenmore

If you live in Kenmore, we have your inside scoop on some of the best weekend activities in the area that everyone will love!

Here’s a look at 4 fun family-friendly weekend activities in Kenmore, as recommended by our locals:

SAINT EDWARD STATE PARK

When it comes to family-friendly fun in Kenmore, one of the first things that comes to mind for both Jen Bowman and Claudette Meyer is the fabulous Saint Edward State Park.

“Although we don’t get there often enough, my family and I love to explore the low forest hiking trails in Saint Edward State Park, set on the eastern shore of Lake Washington,” Claudette says. “Our more adventurous friends regularly go mountain biking on the many miles of trails in the park, with their 5 and 3-year-old in tow—there’s terrain for every skill level.” Jen simply says that there is “too much good stuff to share about Saint Edward [State Park],” proving that this spot is an absolute must for any outdoorsy group.

BREWING & BIKING

What better way to spend a weekend with the gang than with a bike ride and some grub? “192 Brewing Co. and Cairn Brewing are right along the Burke-Gilman Trail and family-friendly,” shares Jen. “Very cool outdoor spaces at 192 Brewing and Cairn Brewing has a very ‘Fremont’ vibe without having to head into Seattle!” Michele Kimes adds that 192 Brewing has “great outdoor seating in the summer [and a] wood stove inside for the winter. Great food and beer. Board games, pool table, kids are welcome and so is your pooch! Right on the Burke-Gilman trail…Cairn Brewery and Nine Yards [are] great places [too] but 192 is the best.”

“I’m also a big fan of 192 Brewing,” says Brian Hayter. “Take a bike ride on the Burke-Gilman and stop in on Sunday afternoons for live music in the outdoor beer garden!” If you’re looking to relax after a day along the trail, these are your go-to spots.

BOWLING

A popular pastime for families everywhere, Claudette suggests spending a weekend with some bowling at Kenmore Lanes. “It’s one of only a few bowling alleys still remaining in all of north King County,” she shares. With good food and cheap prices, it’s an affordable way to get everyone out of the house and having fun (with a little healthy competition thrown in!).

OUT & ABOUT TOWN (SHOPPING & RESTAURANTS)

For a simple weekend of shopping and food, don’t miss out on these top picks by Jen and Claudette. “I was introduced to Acapulco Fresh Mexican Grill by friends that lived just up the hill from this unassuming strip mall restaurant,” Claudette shares. “It is their regular go-to for take-out. The meals are fast, fresh, and authentic. Everyone raves about the salsa bar.” If you just need a quick pick-me-up, try Jen’s favorite, Espresso Works. “…Love Espresso Works for quick, independently owned drive-thru, family-friendly coffee along Bothell Way,” she says. “Daily drink specials and espresso bean on top of your cup! Love this coffee stand!”

If you’re looking for a gift, check out Ostroms Drug and Gift. “Ostroms Drug and Gift off Bothell Way has a really awesome gift shop…the perfect little gift is here,” says Jen. Whatever occasion you may need a present for, you are sure to find something fun, eclectic, and fitting. Finally, need something for a child, but don’t want to settle on something from a chain store? Then stop by Snapdoodle Toys. “Snapdoodle Toys is an independent, family-owned, specialty toy store located in the historic Schnitzelbank building along Bothell Way,” Claudette says. “We stop in for the specialty and innovative toys that one can’t find in chain stores.” Show you really care and support your community with a visit to these local spots today.


Posted on January 2, 2018 at 10:33 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized