Tag Archives: seattle

Have an Adventure: Skydive Snohomish

I’m not sure if I’m having an early mid-life crisis, or just getting bolder in my old age, but this summer I was talked into doing something crazy: jumping out of a plane.  Five years ago I don’t think I would have done it.  Now, I think I want to do it again.

To skydive with Skydive Snohomish, you need to book your appointment a little in advance, prepay a $50 deposit, and give yourself about 3 hours at the facility.  You also have to be at least 18 years old, and weigh less than 220lbs.

Disappointingly, the day I was first scheduled to go was cloudy, and as my friend (a serious skydiver and the one that talked me into) said, “You can’t jump in low clouds; they’re not fluffy like you think.”  Deep down I knew this of course, but was in angry denial at the weather all day.   For my rescheduled jump earlier this month, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

As a newbie I was tandem jumping, which meant I had an experienced diver strapped to my back.  Or rather, I was strapped to his front.  Either way, I felt a lot more confident in his ability to pull the parachute than mine so I was happy.  My biggest fear was fear itself: I thought that once I was on the plane, looking down, I might not want to go.  Or worse, I might throw up.

When you arrive for your appointment, you sign a five-page waiver that repeatedly tells you that you might die.  Don’t let this scare you off.  Do make sure your life insurance policy is up to date before you go.  Once you’ve signed your life away (quite literally), you watch an instructional video about how to do a few main things in the jump: how to exit the plane correctly, and how to land. Then, an instructor reiterates those factors and has you practice the positions you need to be in on the ground before you head out to the staging area to suit up.

Your tandem diving partner gets you all geared up and ready to go with flight suit, goggles and hat, and then you board the plane.  I got lucky in two ways here: first, I had a great instructor who calmed my nerves by telling the cheesiest jokes ever on the plane (How do you find Will Smith in the snow? Look for the fresh prints).  Secondly, I was the last tandem person to board which meant I was the first one to jump out, and I didn’t have to build up anticipation watching the rest of the plane go.

Was I scared?  Yes and no.  I was nervous, and before it was my turn to jump out, I had to watch three individuals jump.  But when my turn came and we started scooting our butts toward the exit, I didn’t have time to be scared.  I didn’t even have time to realize I was at the edge before my tandem partner pushed us out.

The first feeling out of the plane was indescribable – like being terrified and exhilarated at once.  It was loud, my ears hurt a little, and I lost my sense of what direction I was facing.  Once the parachute opened, everyone was suddenly completely silent, and i got to gaze around for miles at the view.  Although you’re skydiving over Snohomish (next to Stocker Farms), you can see all of Seattle, the Puget Sound, Mount Baker, and more.    My tandem partner let me steer for a little while before we landed safely on the ground.

I’ve posted a few photos here of the process, and highly encourage your inner daredevil to knock this off your bucket list!

984164_10100426073492493_375504019277675914_n

10530697_10100426073567343_6811230142997446174_n

1623676_10100426074121233_3344180980580825039_n

10437462_10100426078188083_3131916920121453043_n

10455320_10100426074959553_963406019289347494_n

10576977_10100426075009453_3566340376778965336_n

 

PHOTOS: Wine Rocks Seattle

I had the awesome opportunity yesterday evening to accompany the lovely Taryn Miller of Sips & the City to Wine Rocks Seattle on Pier 66, and essentially get the experience of a wine festival instead of the beer fests I usually gravitate to.  I’m sold!  This event had everything you could want on a Seattle summer evening: a waterfront location with a view, fantastic wines (I stuck mostly to white and rose because of the heat), food samples (Beechers Cheese and Bill the Butcher were on hand, among others) and food trucks (like the amazing Grilled Cheese Experience), and live music.

The music was provided by the wine makers themselves, who formed a few bands and played a good variety for lounging and dancing.  In particular, an all-track-suit-wearing band from Des Voigne Cellars in Woodinville provided covers from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Weezer and Dixie Chicks that I just loved.

As far as the wine goes, I won’t pick favorites.  I’m not nearly enough of a connoisseur to advise on good wines.  I’ll just say there was a great representation there from all over the state and enough varieties to suit everyone’s taste.  Don’t like wine?  They had you covered there too, with several beers and ciders available.

 

The best part?  Proceeds from the event benefited the University District Food Bank.

Here’s a few photos from the event!

photo5

IMG_7255

IMG_7277

photo9

IMG_7280

IMG_7295

photo6

photo10

photo11

photo8

photo7

MUSIC REVIEW: ‘BELIEVE’ in Kris Orlowski

This is my first (hopefully of many) music review posts.  I should start off by saying I am in no way qualified to judge music as there is not a talented bone in my body, but on that note I think that actually puts me on par with most other people out there reviewing music.  Because really, it’s all personal taste anyway right?

Local artist Kris Orlowski recently released his new album “Believer”  on April 15th, 2014.  It took me a few busy weeks of work before I had the chance to really sit and listen to it, but I’m thoroughly impressed with this rock/pop mix now that it’s been playing on repeat for the last week.

Orlowski somehow manages to blend clear pronunciation with an attractive drawl as he performs, making lyrics roll off his tongue in one fluid motion.  On top of that, this is the first album that has more of that full rock band sound rather than The Passenger String Quartet accompaniment that we’ve gotten used to over the past couple years.   The band (Greg Garcia, Mark Isakson, Torry Anderson, Tyler Carroll and Jonathan Warman) provide a solid backdrop to a good mix of uptempo and softer songs that sound just as good blasted from a car stereo as they do playing quietly in an office.

More importantly, this album keeps mainly in line with a Seattle music trend right now of inspirational lyrics that aim to change attitudes and bring about action (think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and many of the fantastic positive-attitude songs of Allen Stone).  With words like “Stand tall, I’m a believer,” from the title track, you leave the album feeling pushed to do a little more with your day.

Link to the ‘Believer’ music video here

 

Green lake Village Soft Opening, Retail Spaces Filling Fast

I’ve been so excited about Green Lake Village for so long – living close to the site for years, I was just waiting for construction to start and the unsightly great hole to go away.  I walk by it at least once per week, usually walking my dog to the lake on the weekend or to my old standby Forza Coffee.

The building exterior is now complete, and I’m sure the home interiors are pretty close to it as the new leasing office soft opens on May 17th.  But I got really excited last weekend when I walked by and saw signs up for new businesses already moving into the retail spaces.

We all know the building is anchored by a new PCC – that one is slated to open on my birthday, June 4th, and I was happy to see a liquor license sign in their window last time I passed by.   But then on the south side of the building, we’re getting a few new fitness options – Modo Yoga and Pure Barre. Modo officially opened on May 1st, so you can already check them out.

When you’re done burning calories, you can happily put them back on at the west side of the building – in the new location of Lucia Italian Kitchen, who currently operate a restaurant out of Kirkland and will open the Green Lake spot in July.  It’ll help fill a gap in that neighborhood, I feel, for Italian cuisine and good wine.

There’s a Homestreet Bank opening within the building, and a Kinetic Sports Rehab is also opening by summer.  It looks like there will still be one or two spaces for businesses, so I can’t wait to see how they round this out!

1509208_356438834497661_131759634_n

NEW LISTING: One bedroom condo in Greenwood

Here’s a little info on my newest listing!  Waterford North is a fantastic building on N 90th just a block east of Greenwood Ave (that means it’s walking distance to Naked City Brewery, just sayin’.)

This one bedroom, one bath condo is on the market for the first time in over twenty years and priced for a quick sale at $150,000.  It has a wood-burning fireplace with tile surround, kitchen with eating bar, and a huge private patio off the living area.   The seller is offering a $500 credit at closing towards a new range, as the current one is a little old (but works).

There is one assigned parking space and one storage space in the controlled-access garage beneath.   For more information, you can call me directly at (253) 653-6299 or email sheath@matrixrealestate.com.   Or, stop by the open house this Sunday, May 4th, from 1pm to 4pm.

Heath411-8

Heath411-1

Heath411-4

Heath411-3

Heath411-5

Heath411-7

MAKING A FULL PRICE OFFER? GET USED TO REJECTION.

I’m frustrated. Other real estate brokers are frustrated. A lot of homebuyers are frustrated.  In some parts of Seattle, making a full priced offer on a home just doesn’t get you anywhere anymore.

Let me give you a backstory: I have clients that are looking for a new home in north Seattle.  They’re open to a lot of different neighborhoods, but they have wants and needs just like everyone else so over the past two months of house hunting they’ve found only four or five homes they like enough to actually pursue.  And out of those four or five, they’ve so far put offers in on three of them, and lost out every time.

The first home they put an offer in on was listed at $650,000.  They didn’t get it – but whoever did paid $760,000 for it – $110,000 more than list price.

The most recent home they put an offer in on went the same way – it was listed at $650,000, and it sold to someone in the range of $760,000 + (it’s still pending).

From the time I started house hunting with these particular clients, to this past week of facing another rejection, I have felt like it’s gotten worse.  So I checked the stats – and yep, it’s gotten worse.

I took some of the most popular neighborhoods – Ballard, Green Lake, Fremont, Wallingford, and Phinney Ridge – and to narrow my stats down, I took a popular price point right now – homes between $600,000 and $800,000.   Looking back at those homes that closed in the month of January, the average sale price was 101.8% of list price – so if a house was listed for $700,000, for instance, on average it sold at $712,600.

In February, the average sale price was 102.5% of list price – or $717,500 on that hypothetical $700,000 house.  In March it crept up just a little more to 102.6% – $718,200.

Then came April.  In the month of April, the average sale price in that range and in those neighborhoods was 105.3% of list price – that means that $700,000 house is now costing on average $737,100.   And a scary thought here – the biggest percentage difference during April between list price and sale price was 123.3% – that would have made a $700,000 house $863,100.  OUCH.

I very much wish I had a point here, but I think instead this post is meant more to vent everyone’s joint frustration on the matter.   What’s my advice?  Persevere, buyers.  Don’t pay more for a home than what you value it at.  Consider how long you intend to live there.  Know that you’re not alone. Because hell, if you were alone, you wouldn’t be paying so much.

Keep on truckin’.  And punch a pillow, instead of a wall.

 

EARTH DAY RETURNS TO LATONA PUB IN GREEN LAKE

Earth Day is April 22nd, which happens to land on a Tuesday this year – but many of us will be spending this Easter weekend contributing somehow.  For example, I’m headed to Federal Way tomorrow to work with Habitat for Humanity on a neighborhood cleanup project.

Latona Pub, however, is once again continuing their awesome streak of providing a full tap list consisting only of beers that have made it to the pub by means other than motorized transportation.  Many of the kegs going on tap this weekend are from fairly close breweries like Naked City and RAM Northgate and are walked to Latona by way of hand truck.  Some, however, are coming from a little farther away, like Black Raven Brewing (about 19 miles).  That particular keg was attached to the back of brewer Tom Mace’s bike and cycled over.

This is the fourth year in a row that Latona Pub has held this tradition.   It all culminates on Sunday, April 20th, when nonprofit organization Feet First (along with a number of volunteers and participants), walk the final keg from Two Beers Brewing in SODO starting around 9:30 in the morning.  The beer, called Hand Truckin’ Amber Ale, should arrive at the end of it’s 10-mile walking trek at about 2pm where the festivities really kick off at Latona.   An auction is held at the pub and both donations and awareness benefit Feet First, who help make Washington more walkable.

Look for me (and my dad, who’s in town visiting me!) at Latona Pub that afternoon, ready to bid on a some cool prizes!

10155369_10152794421043712_695380094996240_n

 

U DISTRICT FOOD BANK PLAYS BARTENDER FOR 50 NORTH

Next Wednesday, April 23rd from 6pm to 9pm, the University District Food Bank will be playing guest bartender for 50 North Restaurant,in an effort to raise a little extra cash.

50 North is located at 5001 25th Ave NE #100 (at Northcut Landing), with free garage parking.  It’s a family-friendly restaurant and serves dinner until 9pm on weeknights with the bar closing down at 10pm.

Next Wednesday, 10% of all drink sales will be donated to the Food Bank.  Receipts will also give an opportunity to donate extra amounts to the Food Bank on your credit/debit card, and there will be tip jars around the bar collecting also.  Finally, 50 North is donating $1 to the University Food Back for every “LIKE” they receive on Facebook today through the event night, so click through and give them a like!

10014541_729392830434528_750869574_n

 

JUST LISTED: TWO-BEDROOM AT HJARTA IN BALLARD

It’s not easy to find decent square footage when condo shopping in Ballard, but this 1,181 sq-ft two-bedroom home definitely provides it.   Located on the 6th floor of LEED Silver certified Hjarta, this condo has a spacious living area with slider to back patio and electric fireplace, designated dining room, and kitchen with breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances and under cabinet lighting.

The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and big bathroom with separate tub & walk-in shower.  Conveniently, the second bedroom is all the way on the opposite side of the home, with a full guest bathroom.  Washer and dryer are included, and found in the guest bathroom.

Home 610 comes with one parking space and one storage space, both located in the garage below.  Hjarta also has some fantastic building amenities – a community room with kitchenette, pool table, lounge seating and patio, and an exercise facility located off that room with separate spaces for cardio and yoga/pilates.    There’s also a large rooftop deck with seating, barbecues and a p-patch.  The building itself is solid concrete & steel.

You can call me at (253) 653-6299 or email sheath@matrixrealestate.com for more info on this condo at 1530 NW Market Street in Seattle.

Priced at $549,950

Heath_Hjarta-101-Edit-2

Heath_Hjarta-106-Edit

Heath_Hjarta-102-Edit

18112_01-web

Matrix_Hjarta-Web-143

NEW SEATTLE LISTINGS: Two Fantastic homes on the market this week

If you’re in the market for a new home in Seattle, my firm Matrix Real Estate just brought on two pretty cool homes – and they couldn’t be more different from each other!

812 15th Ave E ~ 4 beds/2.5 baths/2910 square feet.

$799,950

First up is this pretty cool Capitol Hill home built in 1906.  It’s kept most of its original charme – like leaded glass windows, fir floors, and built-in cabinetry – but it’s also had updated electrical, new high tech gas fired boiler system, new water lines.  To top it off, it’s a legal duplex with an upstairs unit that’s about 1000 square feet with two bedrooms.  It also has a garage!

This one is listed by Steve Snider and he can be reached at ssnider@matrixrealestate.com.  It’s open Saturday and Sunday (4/5 and 4/6) from 12-3 each day.

PRINT_FrontView2

PRINT_DiningRoom

PRINT_LivingRoom1

PRINT_Garage

 

1933 48th Ave SW ~ 3 beds/3.5 baths/3,460 square feet.

$1,495,950

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have this pretty rad contemporary home in the North Admiral neighborhood of West Seattle.  As you walk in, there’s a butcher block & frosted glass stairway.  The ceilings are 10′ high with 8′ doorways, and the kitchen has a ten-ft long work island with white marble eating bar.  There are two wine coolers that fit 150 bottles each, plus there’s a stellar view of the Puget Sound from the master suite (and the master closet is the size of a normal person’s bedroom).  And check out the freestanding tub!

This one is listed by Nick Jarman and he can be reached at njarman@matrixrealestate.com.  It’s also got an Open House on Sunday afternoon (4/6) from 1-4.

N&M-205-Edit

13775_9

N&M-301-Edit

13775_4

13775_13

13775_14

N&M-214-Edit