Lakeside Resources That Will Float Your Boat

Lakeside Resources That Will Float Your Boat

Shorelines are heavily regulated in King County and, love it or hate it, the tight guidelines help keep our Puget Sound lakes in good order. King County’s Lake Stewardship Program has produced several fact sheets on lakeside regulations.

If you’re wondering what you can plant and still be in good graces with the powers that be, check out their Lake Friendly Landscape and Garden fact sheet. Find info about aquatic plant management, algae in our lakes, boating restrictions, and even how to wash your boat and dock in a way that keeps phosphorus out of our lakes.

Another great resource is King County’s Lake Services and Information page with a wealth of information on everything from lake history and water quality to lake maps and recreation info. One can look up individual lakes throughout the county and even sign up for lake alerts.

Info on rivers, streams, watersheds and wetlands can also be found on the site-a great resource to know what’s what for both land owners and developers alike.

There’s no doubt that waterfront has many intricacies and nuances that require one’s full engagement. We’re here to help put resources and tools at your fingertips!

Top 10 Flooring Trends for 2017

Top 10 Flooring Trends for 2017

Flooring serves as the backdrop to every interior design scheme and so it’s integral to every home’s style. From pared back wooden floorboards to intricate parquet, block colors to eco-friendly styles, there are so many different trends to consider when looking for what is right for your home…

1. Parquet Flooring

A classic flooring trend that has resurfaced, parquet floors are undoubtedly a top trend for this year. Despite the many patterns of parquet, the contemporary-traditional pattern is a favorite and is increasingly popular.Parquet Flooring

2. Gray Flooring

The recent surge in the popularity of grey floors has had experts in the industry wondering whether the trend is simply a fad or potentially timeless. Head of marketing at Posh Flooring, Stephen Gillen, confirms, “It looks as though the color gray is here to stay. Search trend data tells us that the interest in grey flooring has only risen over the years…

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Where to Drink Coffee in Seattle Right Now, Fall 2016

Where to Drink Coffee in Seattle Right Now, Fall 2016

Lucky Seattle. This city has tried-and-true coffee industry veterans, solid neighborhood cafes, and a growing crop of newcomers pushing the scene forward. Venerable roasters Vivace and Victrola helped build the Emerald City’s reputation as the specialty coffee center of the planet, and they’re bolstered by a fresh set of bean businesses that are breathing new life into Seattle’s cafe culture this very minute: multi-roaster shops like Milstead and Co. and back-to-basics roasters like Slate are keeping the attention of the caffeinated crowd at home and well beyond the Pacific Northwest.

1. Royal Drummer

Opened in April, this North Ballard newcomer is an ode to Australian culture, which sees the cafe more as a place to socialize than to pound espresso for a busy laptop work session. Australia’s shops tend to serve full-course meals to encourage guests to sit and stay a while, so expect the same at Royal Drummer.

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Windermere Launches New Ultra-Luxury Brand: W Collection

Windermere Launches New Ultra-Luxury Brand: W Collection

Anyone who has spent time in the Seattle area in recent years has likely seen for themselves how much the city has changed. Thanks in large part to the booming economy, growing tech sector, and increasing international appeal, Seattle is no longer a sleepy little city tucked away in the far corner of the United States. With this changing landscape has come an infusion of wealth that has seen the area’s high-net-worth population explode. And with it, so too has the ultra-high-end real estate market.

In order to meet the specialized needs of this burgeoning market, Windermere has launched W Collection, a new ultra-luxury brand specifically designed for homes priced at $3 million and above in Western Washington. OB Jacobi, President of Windermere Real Estate, says that Seattle’s population of “global affluent” is on the rise and they greatly value real estate. The proof is in the numbers.

Over the past five years there has been a significant increase in the number of home sales in the $3 million+ market. In 2011 there were only 45 such sales in King County, while in 2015 there were 131. “Windermere agents represent anywhere from 40-60 percent of the $3 million+ sales in the Seattle area, so we felt we were in the ideal position to build a brand that could provide enhanced marketing support to the growing number of ultra-luxury homes,” said Jacobi.

W Collection is its own standalone brand with a separate website,, signage, presentation materials, and specialized advertising opportunities. When developing W Collection, Jacobi said that the goal was to create a sophisticated, yet humble, brand that evokes the understated expression of wealth that is unique to the Pacific Northwest. “Our clients are not largely drawn to the shows of excessive wealth that you see at other companies and in other parts of the country. This is reflected in the W Collection brand,” said Jacobi.

The development of W Collection began a little over a year ago, and according to Jacobi, was a highly collaborative process with Windermere agents playing an integral role in every step, “Over the past 44 years some of Windermere’s best ideas have come from our agents who are totally in tune with the needs of their clients and the shifting demands of the market; W Collection was born from this same agent ingenuity.”

Originally Posted on the Windermere blog by Shelley Rossi.

Seattle Seahawks and Windermere Real Estate Announce New Partnership

Seattle Seahawks and Windermere Real Estate Announce New Partnership

To say that Windermere has a lot of Seahawks fans would be an understatement. That’s why we are so excited to announce today that we are now the “Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks”!

At the center of this partnership with the Seahawks is a new #tacklehomelessness campaign in which the Windermere Foundation will donate $100 for every Seahawks tackle at home during the 2016 season. On the receiving end of these donations is YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that has been providing services and support to homeless youth from across Puget Sound for more than 40 years. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has donated over $30 million to non-profits that support low-income and homeless families, so partnering with YouthCare and the Seahawks on the #tacklehomelessness campaign is a perfect fit for us.

“We are proud to partner with Windermere, an iconic and locally-based company with a…

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Buying Waterfront Properties – What You Should Know Before You Take the Plunge

Buying Waterfront Properties – What You Should Know Before You Take the Plunge

Posted June 8 2016, 3:00 PM PDT by Kelly Weisfield

Living on the Water Is a Lifestyle

Enjoying direct and private access to the water is typically the primary motivator for buyers seeking a waterfront property. As such, it’s really important to consider how you intend to use your waterfront. For example, if you’re a boater, evaluate the moorage at the property. Is the water deep enough for your particular type of boat? Is there a boat lift to keep the boat out of the water when not in use, or do you plan to dry dock for the winter? If you’re a swimmer, is the lakeshore accessible to wade in, or do you have to jump off a dock or platform?  If you have jet skis, sail boats or other water toys, is there a place to store them or moor them? If you’re looking forward to peaceful days on your stand-up paddleboard, is the water in front of your home typically choppy or calm? When you entertain, is there ample parking for guests  or space for visitors to tie up their boats on your dock?

Your directional orientation will also impact your waterfront living experience. East-facing waterfront will allow you to enjoy wonderful sunrises. If you prefer sunsets, west-facing waterfront is preferable. South-facing properties generally enjoy light all day but can also experience more direct weather.

Focus on the Property More than the House

The golden rule of real estate, “location, location, location,” is even more true when considering a waterfront property. The ratio of land value to total property value is generally higher in waterfront properties. You can always update and change your home, but you cannot change the location. Consider especially the following features of the property:

  1. View. One of the great perks of being on the water is enjoying the beautiful views. Understand if your view is protected by CC&Rs or view easements. If there are any view-obstructing trees or structures, identify whose property they are on and your ability to maintain your view.
  2. Proximity to the Water. If the home is not close to the shoreline, consider how you’ll access the water. If you plan to entertain lakeside, think about how you’ll get food, beverages and supplies down to the waterfront easily.
  3. Privacy. The property’s feeling of privacy usually corresponds to its waterfront frontage. The larger your waterfront frontage, the more buffer you’ll have from your neighbors.
  4. Topography of the Land. Is the waterfront property on a level lot or a steep slope? Access to the water is easier on a flat lot – many lakefront lots are steep and can be difficult to get up and down to. Again, this impacts the value of the property

Understand What You Can and Can’t Do with the Property

Waterfront properties are subject to additional regulations and codes from various local, state and federal agencies. There are very strict regulations on shoreline development. If the property requires a new dock or bulkhead, it’s important to know that this can be a very challenging process given the multiple government agencies involved. These limitations are likely to get even more restrictive in the near future as the shoreline regulations are being updated. Sooner is better than later in applying for any permits related to docks, bulkheads and changes to the shoreline.

Finally, if you’re planning to build or significantly remodel, do a thorough feasibility analysis given city codes and shoreline regulations. New construction often cannot be built as close to the water as the existing structure under current code. In addition to meeting with the city, engage an architect and builder who have significant experience building waterfront properties in your area to help advise you about what likely limitations there are on your particular parcel.

Every Waterfront Property Is Unique – Learn the Nuances

Living on the water means that you have an additional set of factors to consider concerning your waterfront experience. For example, what is the boating traffic like in front of your home? Is it a busy channel or near a favorite fishing spot where boaters tend to congregate? Look closely at the properties of your waterfront neighbors: is there a tear-down next door so there will likely be a construction barge in front of you for the next few years? Does your neighbor have a huge yacht moored all summer that blocks your view? Is there a public beach nearby or community club that will cause noise late into the evenings?

If you’re considering shared waterfront, be especially thorough in understanding your rights and ownership interests. Some shared waterfront properties have a specifically deeded boat slip, though many others share an interest in a community dock. The system for moorage assignment and rotation can often lead to contention among neighbors, so it’s important to learn as much as you can about how the shared waterfront and is handled in your neighborhood.

There is a reason that owning a waterfront home is a life-long dream for so many people – it brings an extraordinary lifestyle. As a significant financial investment and very unique type of real estate, it’s especially critical to engage professionals who understand the complex issues inherent in waterfront properties. Equipped with the right expertise, guidance and knowledge, you’ll be ready to turn to your waterfront dream into a reality.


Windermere’s second annual Washington Waterfront Home Tour on June 11-12 features nearly 100 properties statewide, ranging in price from $189,000 to $10.4 Million. To learn more about the event and featured properties go to 


Kelley Weisfield is a long-term resident of Seattle and the Eastside. She works out of the Windermere Real Estate Mercer Island office, ideal for cultivating opportunities for buyers and sellers around Lake Washington. Kelley worked as an attourney for 11 years before she made the switch to real estate more than 13 years ago.

Photos by Michaelo Walmsley, Forest Ave Photos

Famed Architect’s $5.9M Mercer Island Waterfront Manse Listed

Famed Architect’s $5.9M Mercer Island Waterfront Manse Listed

A head turner o a Mercer Island home – which is listed for $5.88 million – was the creation of the late Ralph Anderson, one of Seattle’s most prolific and famous architects, and his builder son Ross Anderson. Together, the two of them designed and built this 4,540 square foot waterfront home located on 4014 East Mercer Way. It turned out to be te preservationist’s second last home. They completed it in 2001. Windermere Premier Broker Larry Williams has the listing and loves talking about this quintessential Anderson home… continue reading.
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