Tag Archives: Green Lake


Sure it’s only April, but I for one am already gearing up for some of the most fun events this town puts on.  Whether you’re new to the Puget Sound, or just finally getting involved, here are four of the “Can’t Miss” occasions I look forward to each year!

Washington Brewers Festival: June 13th-15th. Perhaps the most well attended beer festival in the state, this event runs Friday through Sunday at Marymoor Park in Redmond.  Friday night is adults only, but kids are welcome Saturday and Sunday and this serves as a great way to celebrate Father’s Day.  This year, there will be 88 participating breweries, each serving up a few options for over 300 beer selections.

Fremont Summer Solstice Parade: June 21st.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve brought to this parade over the years, to celebrating the arrival of summer.  Between naked cyclists, environmentally-conscious floats, and the arrival of the flying spaghetti monster it’s a must-do.  Just get there early – and I mean EARLY – to get a good view.  Also, bring a little cash to put in the change buckets as they come round, as this event and many others like it are funded by public donation.


Green Lake Milk Carton Derby: July 12th.   This event is technically part of Seafair, but is a full day of fun in its own right.  Different categories of participants create and decorate their own floats out of milk cartons and then race them on Green Lake.  It lasts just about all day long, and when the floats aren’t racing they’re on display around the path to see.


Moonlight Cinema at Redhook: July 10th – August 28th.  This year’s movie lineup includes Die Hard, Anchorman 2, Top Gun and The Big Lebowski to name a few. You have to head to the eastside, but can you think of a better location for an outdoor movie festival than at a brewery? (Didn’t think so)

There’s plenty of other events coming up this summer too, like Seafair, National Night Out, and Concerts at Marymoor Park – we’ll get to those at a later date!


Why I moved to Maple Leaf (and why you should, too)

I lived in Phinney Ridge for a year, and Green Lake for three years, before moving to Maple Leaf this summer.  A good friend of mine still jokes that I moved to “southern Canada,” and some other friends less familiar with the area ask me where Maple Leaf is.

Maple Leaf is pretty much considered to be everything east of I-5 to Lake City Way, and then as far south as 80th and as far north as Northgate Way.  And now, it’s home.

So why would I ever leave Green Lake, and move to Maple Leaf instead? Well, affordability for one.  If you look at every currently active single family home on the market in Maple Leaf right  now, you get an average price per foot of $228.91 (average price of $562,238).    Compare that to Green Lake, whose borders are 80th to the north, 50th to the south, and Aurora and I-5 west to east, and you see a big difference.  The average price per foot of a home in Green Lake right now is $338.30.   That means if you take a 1500 square foot house in Green Lake you’re likely to pay $507,000 – put the same house in Maple Leaf and you’ll be paying closer to $343,000.

But Green Lake is cool, right?  Short answer: yes.  But, Maple Leaf was listed by Redfin earlier this year as one of the hottest and most “up and coming” housing markets in the entire country. They attributed this to the lower housing prices, local schools and easy commuter access.

I’ll admit I was hesitant to leave Green Lake.  But did I really leave?  I can walk to the lake in about 15 minutes.   More importantly, I’ve discovered a whole new slew of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and more that are right in my own neighborhood (not the mention the amazing Maple Leaf Hardware, who is getting me through some remodel work).

So if you’ve been shopping for a home in Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford or surrounding area, and are feeling down at the rising prices that are edging you out of the market, come see me in southern Canada.

If you can’t beat it, Join it – 5 Can’t-Miss North Seattle Patios

Being lucky enough to have lived here several years now, I have spent a time or two on patios with a glass in my hand.  You’ll forgive me this afternoon for staying indoors with a Popsicle in hand, but my fair skin doesn’t allow much room for sunburn.  Still, when temps are moderately hot and the day is getting done, there’s nothing I love more than a local patio.  So, for those of you new to the area or just getting out for the first time, I present to you my list of favorite outdoor spaces in north Seattle:

  • Naked City’s Walrus Beer Garden.  This only just opened a little over a week ago, but is filled with picnic tables & umbrellas, a Washers game in the corner, and occasional live music.  You can see it from Greenwood Ave over a pony wall but gain access through the restaurant. Kid friendly, but not dog friendly.
  • Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden: This half indoor/half outdoor space has a variety of seating options, old wooden barrels as drink stands, and is both kid and dog friendly.  If it gets too hot outdoors, you can step inside for some shade and grab a handful of complimentary pretzels.
  • Forza Coffee in Green Lake: With a roll-up door, Forza’s patio again spills into the inside of the facility.  Why am I including a coffee joint in my list?  Because this place also carries local beer, wine on tap, and light food options.  Kid and dog friendly. As a special treat, go on a Friday or Saturday evening for live music.
  • The Yard Cafe: Also located on Greenwood Avenue, you could technically consider the entire building to be an outdoor spot.  With picnic tables in the sunshine right out front and shaded indoor seating that converts to the outdoors by lifting a plastic barrier, you’ll also love the delicious Mexican food options.
  • Ray’s Cafe: I don’t think I need to say a lot here.  You can sit on the deck of Ray’s in Ballard and watch boats and paddle boarders while eating amazing seafood.  If it gets chilly, just ask for a blanket and they’ll provide.

Latona & 65th – Businesses close, businesses open

The intersection of Latona and 65th has been a favorite of mine for awhile now – of course, that generally has to do with the fabulous Latona Pub and the fact that it’s walking distance for me.  But besides Latona Pub, I was a regular (and, ahem, Foursquare Mayor) of Irwin’s Bakery & Cafe, which recently closed down their Green Lake location right at the two-year mark.

The Irwin's Green Lake sign being installed two years ago

The Irwin’s Green Lake sign being installed two years ago.

On top of that, Mona’s also closed – a place I didn’t visit too often but understood to be a long-time staple in the neighborhood.

And while I was frustrated to lose my favorite coffee shop, I’m excited to hear that the intersection will soon be lively again.  Frelard’s Dish Cafe is expanding to Green Lake to fill the empty space that Irwin’s left behind.  The Dish serves up breakfast and lunch items and is currently located at 4358 Leary Way NW.  Don’t worry, local fans – the Frelard location will remain as-is while the second spot opens this summer

The spot where Mona’s used to reside, although not officially announced, is said to become another cocktail bar/restaurant similar to what was there.  The owners (who own the Thai food place next door) are in the process of fixing the space up now and we’re hoping for an official announcement soon.

Change – it happens.  And hopefully it’s good.

Green Lake Real Estate: A look at Inventory

I’m not the only real estate broker who has been talking nonstop about the lack of inventory in the Seattle area.  So if there’s no inventory, why do I keep seeing “for sale” signs on every block – does that mean ?

In January, I wrote a post about the current state of the market and there were seven active listings – six single family homes and one condo.  So where are we at today?  Well, it’s Spring – a time when the market generally picks up and this year is no change.  There are currently 14 single family homes on the market and two condominiums.  Not including the condominiums, the average size of the homes on the market is 2,199 square feet and the average price is $611,268. This gives us an average price per foot of $278.

5608 Latona Ave

This home at 5608 Latona Ave NE is currently listed for $730,000. It has 5 bedrooms and 2.25 baths.

In April, fifteen homes sold in Green Lake (three condominiums and twelve single family homes).  Despite the amount of homes being added to the market, the average time these homes spent on the market was 13 days – and ten of the homes were on the market for a week or less.

Compared to 2012, we had just a few less homes on the market.  There were 18 homes sold last year in April, but at an average market time of 51 days – that’s almost two months compared to our current time of two weeks!  And in 2011, the average time on the market for April was 61 days.

To sum up: More houses are coming on the market, but we’re not balanced yet.  We still have a lot of home buyers out there and not enough houses to sell them.  Houses in Green Lake are selling quickly, often for more than asking price.  We’re still out of whack, but the addition of new listings each week is putting us on the right track to a balanced market.



Seattle Beer Week: Your North Seattle Picks

Seattle Beer Week is soon to be upon us again.  The fifth year running, this year’s Beer Week falls on May 9th through the 19th and as usual, is sure to include something for everyone.  Although I do like to expand my horizons out of the neighborhood a little for this one, here are my North Seattle event picks!

  • On May 10th, head to Brouwers in Fremont for the Underberg Back in Black Stout Fest – 40+ stouts on tap.  Event runs all day
  • On May 11th, it’s time to head to Hale’s Ales for Brewgrass – a collaboration of beer & music with 10 local breweries and 3 bands, benefiting NW Harvest.  Starts at 5pm and you can buy your tickets here.
  • On May 12th, it’s Mother’s Day. So treat your mother to one of her favorite movies – Psycho.  DJ Nicfit plays this film at Naked City’s screening room to a live soundtrack, and I can say from experience it’s amazing.  Starts at 8pm in Greenwood.
  • May 13th, check out the Sierra Nevada dinner at the Burgundian in Tangletown.   5 beers paired with 5 dishes (exact beers & dishes tbd).  This starts at 6pm.
  • On May 14th, check out Beer & Burger Battle back at Brouwer’s in Fremont.  It runs all day long, and pits six brewers against each other to design the best burger.
  • On May 15th, don’t miss the annual Latona Pub Cask Fest in Green Lake.  A huge selection of cask beers, starting at 6pm.
  • On May 16th, try out pFriem Family Brewing at Art of the Table in Wallingford.  Everyone is buzzing about this brewery, and the restaurant is pairing up 7 courses to match.  The reception starts at 6:30, dinner served at 7.  Call the restaurant at (206) 282-0942 for a reservation.  Dinner is $95/person + tax/tip.
  • After taking a few nights off to repair your liver, celebrate the last day of Beer Week with The Dray in Phinney Ridge.  The Dray has a celebration of its own that day – their 5th Birthday!  There will be special brews from Firestone Walker, and tacos from The Yard.

Make sure you don’t miss one or two other events in the rest of the city either, as there’s plenty to do!  You can check out the full schedule here. 

Photos: The exciting Green Lake Traffic Circle – boats, cows & aliens

A week ago, I tweeted a photo of a boat that got some attention.  Not just any boat, but a boat that was parked, without a trailer, in the middle of a traffic circle at Woodlawn Ave N & Kenwood Place North in Green Lake.  I thought the photo was humorous – not just because of the boat, or the note that was left on it by the Seattle Police Dept (stating “Really?”) – but because I really enjoy seeing what that traffic circle will come up with next.

Here is the photo I took of the boat (and the note) last week:


Now, some argue this is a nuisance and some argue that it’s art.  No matter what it is, it’s always fun to see what’s coming next.  When I first moved into this particular neighborhood, a bench sat on that island.  Eventually, an inflatable family of aliens moved in….one at a time (here’s dad).


After the aliens moved away (beamed back to the mothership?) Bessie arrived.  Well, okay, I call her Bessie.  Anyway, the life-size Green Lake cow stayed at the traffic circle for several months and even got decorative bows around Christmastime.


And that, my friends, is the story of the last three years of the traffic circle at Kenwood & Woodlawn.   We’ve heard that the boat may be towed – some folks have tried to stop that with a petition that has now disappeared.   Is it art?  Is it funny? Is it tacky?

Well, it’s entertainment.

Latona Pub’s IPA Final Four Bracket – fill it out before Tuesday!

After a successful few years, Latona Pub’s IPA Final Four Challege is back – and brackets need to be filled out and submitted by Tuesday afternoon.

If you’re used to losing the NBA March Madness brackets each year, and know your beers better than your sports teams (I admit, I choose my NBA teams based on how cute the mascot is), then this is definitely the event for you.


Starting Monday, March 18th, Latona Pub will put sets of IPA’s on tap – three at a time.  Your job is to predict which keg will blow first.  They’ll do this four times (timing depends on when the kegs blow), and then the four winners will be put on tap against each other.

Don’t think this is easy though – The first round features Green Flash, Boneyard, and Boundary Bay.  Boneyard won the entire event last year, and Boundary Bay won the year before – so it’ll be a tight race.

Other IPA’s coming up in the tournament include Black Raven’s Trickster, 7 Seas Rude Parrot, Elysian’s Space Dust, and of course, Georgetown’s Lucille.

Brackets are available now to be filled out at Latona Pub in Green Lake and turned in before the first keg blows – likely on Tuesday afternoon.

Green Lake Real Estate Inventory: 2013 and Beyond

Green Lake, I love you.  But if you don’t start providing inventory soon for my buyers that are still waiting in the wings to purchase, I’m going to get annoyed.

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve taken a look at current Green Lake inventory from 85th at the north end down to 50th at the south end, and between Aurora & I-5.  And do you know what I’ve found?   Seven homes for sale.  Seven.  That’s all.  That’s one condominium and six homes, with price ranges from $205,000 (for the condo, the lowest price house is $399,000) to $859,000.

This 3,500 square foot house on Green Lake Way N is currently listed for sale for $765,000:

5012 Green Lake Way N

I don’t think this data will come as shock to anyone, and I’m sure everyone can make the interpretation as to what this is continuing to do.  Limited inventory drives up house prices, causes bidding wars, and also reflects only a small amount of sales.  So far in  January, nine homes have closed in the Green Lake neighborhood.

Time to get frustrated?  If you’re a buyer or a real estate agent, sure.  Time to panic?  Nope.  Last January, Green Lake closed twelve homes – just three more than where we’re at today.  And in January 2011, Green Lake only closed four homes.   My biggest fear is that sellers who are waiting to list because they’re seeing prices rise will all list their homes around the same time, bringing on more inventory than necessary.  However, the desirability of the Green Lake neighborhood should continue to move homes quickly into the hands of new buyers, no matter how many come on the market at once.

The other trend I’m seeing right now is the greedy seller.  Yes, it is a seller’s market.  Yes, prices are rising.  But no, buyers out there aren’t actually stupid and still aren’t going to pay way more than market value for your home.  If your home is listed in Green Lake (or most of the surrounding area) for more than 30 days, there’s a strong chance that you overpriced it so much, no one even wants to make a low offer.

Other neighborhoods seeing similar action: Ravenna, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and particularly Maple Leaf after Redfin named it one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in the country to watch. 

As always, I’m happy to help any of my neighbors purchase or sell their home, and provide free extensive market analysis reports to sellers.  You can reach me directly at sheath@matrixrealestate.com or at (253) 653-6299.

Green Lake Real Estate: November 2012 Stats

Are your Christmas lights up yet?  They sure do make a neighborhood look festive.  Not that Green Lake needs any help attracting buyers – we’re still at a low inventory of just seven residential homes on the market right now.  Five of those homes have been listed for some time, and two came on new in November.  The average price of our current inventory? $556,636.

As usual, I’m taking data from 85th on the north end to 50th on the south end, and bordered west to east by Aurora Ave and I-5.  And with such little inventory available to purchase, you probably won’t be shocked to hear that another 15 homes in the neighborhood are currently pending (under contract but not yet sold).   On top of that, seven more homes closed in the month of November, with an average sales price of $545,357 and an average size of 1,910 square feet.

The average time on the market for the seven closed homes last month was 19 days – with over half of those homes selling in less than two weeks.

When I give these monthly updates, I usually like to separate out condominium data from single family data so as not to skew the numbers too much.  However, this time, the market did that for me.  If you thought single family inventory was low in the neighborhood, you’ll be surprised to hear that there are no condominium homes for sale in Green Lake right.  Not one.

Are you putting your house on the market in the next few weeks?  If so, I wasn’t joking about the Christmas lights – not only are they festive and inviting, they also help light up the outdoors for evening showings of your home.  A wreath on the front door and a tidy yard can also go a long way in making your home look attractive for a buyer.