The 5 Best Things About Living in South Everett

What’s so great about living in South Everett? There are several reasons why people choose to call South Everett “home,” and we asked locals what they love about the area so much. Here’s what they shared:


1. Quick access to Boeing and Paine Field.

As local Heather Potts points out, South Everett’s easy access to Boeing is definitely a perk of living in the area! This location will only become more desirable when Alaska Airlines starts running commercial flights from Paine Field in fall of 2018. For those in the area who have to head to SeaTac often, this will be a *huge* timesaver.

2. Several great transit options.

In addition to upcoming commercial flights, South Everett already has several excellent transportation options whether or not you have a car. With access to several freeways (including Interstate-5), local and regional bus routes, the Sounder Train (find stations in nearby Mukilteo and of course in Everett), and the light rail expansion, getting around the area just keeps getting easier. Having options like the train and light trail (in the future!) make it so you don’t even have to deal with car traffic, a definite bonus as our highways become more and more congested. (Be sure to take advantage of these South Everett commuting tips!)

3. Nice neighborhoods with affordability.

According to local Brian Hayter, South Everett is a top choice for many people due to its “nice neighborhoods and affordability.” As Zillow reports, the median home price in Everett is $337,700 (August 2017). With prices steadily increasing, it’s significantly more affordable than nearby cities like Seattle (with a median home price of $690,200 for August 2017).

4. Unique outdoor opportunities.

Many people don’t know all that South Everett has to offer, and this includes some unique outdoor activities! Local Jen Bowman especially loves McCollum Pioneer Park: “McCollum Park is a fabulous Park and Ride but there are other unique amenities including an outdoor seasonal pool, BMX park, and walking trails linking to Mill Creek Town Center. For even more tips on what to do outdoors, don’t miss our Outdoor Lover’s Guide to South Everett!

5.  There’s tons of great shopping!

…And we really mean *tons*. Costco and T.J. Maxx are Heather Potts’ favorite places to stop by, but no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll probably be able to find it in South Everett. The Everett Mall is packed with shopping, dining, services, and entertaining, and here you’ll find Regal Cinemas, LA Fitness, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, Best Buy, Sears, and so much more. Nearby you’ll also find Walmart, Target, WinCo, not to mention several sit-down restaurants and fast food options!



Posted on September 29, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in South Everett |

Live in South Everett? Here’s What You Need to Know About Commuting

Many people choose to live in South Everett for its central location, affordability, and great commuting options. According to local Heather Potts, it’s “Close enough to the city and the I-405 interchange yet far enough to feel like you’ve somewhat escaped!” She also shares that it’s a “Quick commute up north if you’re headed to Lake Stevens or Bellingham.”

Whether you work at Boeing or need to commute into Seattle for work, we have several commuting tips to share. From taking the train or bus to developments you can expect in the future, here are a few things you need to know:

  • Easy access to highways, including Interstate-5 and Highway 99.

No matter where you live in South Everett, you’re never more than a few minutes away from highways if you’re getting around by car. Both Interstate-5 and Highway 99 conveniently run right through the area, and 526 and 525 cut through the area as well.

  • The Sounder Train has stops in Everett Station and in Mukilteo.

The Sounder Train runs from Everett all the way south to Lakewood (just past Tacoma), presenting another excellent commuting option that helps you avoid roads altogether (a definite perk during rush hour)! While the Sounder typically only runs in the mornings and afternoons on weekdays, it also runs when there are big weekend events going on, like Mariners or Seahawks games. Avoid the hassle of parking and traffic if you’re heading to a game! You can plan your trip on the Sounder here.

  • South Everett Freeway Station Park & Ride

Located at I-5 & 112th Street S.E., Everett, this handy park and ride includes 399 parking spaces in addition to bike racks and lockers. Park and catch the 510, 512, or 532 buses, and various Everett Transit buses as well. Learn more about the freeway station here, and check out 510 and 512 bus routes into Seattle here.

  • Everett Transit

Everett has its own transit system for navigating the city, and there are several stops for your convenience! From routes and schedules to tips on planning your journey, EverettTransit.org has everything you’ll need to know to take advantage of this great community amenity.

  • Biking in Everett

Featuring a maze of convenient trails in addition to the Interurban Trail, biking is a popular way to exercise or just get around Everett. There is an extensive network of bike trails, and the popular Interurban Trail runs north and south. You can see a map of the Snohomish County portion of the trail here. For a map of all of the bike trails and the Interurban Trail in Everett, click here!

  • Light Rail Expansion

It’s still awhile out, but the light rail is coming to South Everett with a projected completion in 2036. Currently, the light rail runs from Angle Lake (just past SeaTac) to University of Washington. There are stops planned at Southwest Everett Industrial Center, SR 526/Evergreen and Everett Station in the future! (There is also a provisional station, at SR 99/Airport Road, but this stop can only happen if additional funding is acquired.) Click here to see an interactive map of the plan!

  •  Commercial Flights out of Paine Field

In the fall of 2018, Alaska Airlines will begin offering commercial flights out of Paine Field! Alaska Airlines will begin announcing flight routes in early 2018, so stay tuned. You can learn all about this new service here.



Posted on September 29, 2017 at 3:57 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in South Everett |

Your Guide to Making the Most of a Day at Silver Lake in South Everett

Make your day at Silver Lake memorable with our go-to guide. From parks, to picnics, to dining, we have your scoop on not-to-miss spots.

Here’s our guide to making the most of a day at Silver Lake in South Everett:


PARKS

For a getaway by the lake, check out Hauge Homestead Park. A picnic pavilion, waterfront access for fishing, and a soon-to-be new playground make it a great place to unwind. Another urban oasis is the popular Thornton A. Sullivan Park. “Th[is] park at Silver Lake is the perfect home base for an afternoon of fun at the lake,” says Jen Bowman. “Plenty of shade, playground equipment, and covered pavilions. This non-motorized lake is perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding!”

Janet Buehler agrees, saying “I love Silver Lake Park. Excellent facilities for big or small events at Fort Patterson and great big huge place for kids to play. Paddle boarding kayak and tubing!” A final spot that’s worth checking out is Green Lantern Park. From spots to catch bass to a tot lot for the youngsters, this park has something for everyone.   


PICNIC GRUB

Across the street from Green Lantern Park is a shopping center with local eateries perfect for grabbing picnic food. For a seafood lunch, Sushi Ring serves up nigiri, hand rolls, and other sushi that will satisfy your craving. If you have a sweet tooth, the L’Artisan French Bakery has tarts, eclairs, and cakes that transport you to Paris. Fans of Chinese cuisine need to check out the homemade selections at China Dumpling & Noodle House. With a line that’s often wrapped around the building, it’s a local favorite. Another top spot is Viet Thai Cuisine Noodle Bar. Quality pho and curry dishes make it a go-to for adding some kick to your picnic. Finally, on chillier days, stop by the Safeway Starbucks and pick up a coffee before walking along the lake. You’ll love it!


LAKESIDE DINING

When night falls, enjoy it at Emory’s on Silver Lake. “Emory’s…is my favorite place for great happy hour with a beautiful, sunny patio in South Everett,” says Jen. “They also have live music in the bar, so check their website for details. They also have a banquet room in case you need to host an event! The main restaurant is lined with windows to take advantage of the western facing lake views.” It’s the perfect end to a day at Silver Lake!



Posted on September 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in South Everett |

The Outdoor Lover’s Guide to South Everett

The great outdoors are calling! Gorgeous parks, opportunities for golfing, and farms are all in the mix—adventures await!

Here’s a look at the outdoor lover’s guide to South Everett:


GOLF

For local golfers looking to practice their skills, no place is better than Jen and Brian Hayter’s pick. “Columbia Super Range is the best spot to work on your golf game,” says Jen. “Located just east of I-5 on 128th, it’s easy to stop and hit a bucket of balls on your way home! Open til 10pm in the summer!” Or, if you just want a relaxing space to play a couple rounds, the Walter E. Hall Golf Course offers a tranquil forest setting and stunning views of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. No matter which course you pick, you will be treated to a top-notch experience that will make you want to return again and again.


PARKS

There’s certainly no shortage of great local parks to enjoy while out and about in the South Everett area. For example, Jen shares that “McCollum [Pioneer] Park is a fabulous Park and Ride but there are other unique amenities including an outdoor seasonal pool, BMX park, and walking trails linking to Mill Creek Town Center.” Sports fans can also head over to Kasch Park and catch a game of softball, Little League, soccer, or lacrosse.

Searching for something extra adventurous? Jen also recommends High Trek Adventures at the Paine Field Community Park. Rope obstacle courses and ziplining offers something new and exciting to try out, and with over 60 challenges to try, you can keep coming back to try something new! (It’s also a great place for corporate events or parties!)

Finally, those with four-legged friends can bring them down to Loganberry Lane Park to enjoy the wooded trails off-leash. There really is something for everyone at these parks!


FARMS

According to Jen Bowman, “In the fall, South Everett residents head down the hill to the Snohomish River Valley where pumpkin patches, hay mazes, and harvest fun can be had!” One farm in particular to take advantage of all of this fun at is the nearby Farm at Swan’s Trail. A 50-acre pumpkin patch, the Washington State Corn Maze, wagon rides, and much more promise a great time for the whole family. For adults and older kids, the Thomas Family Farm features unique nighttime activities like zombie paintball, a haunted house, and a flashlight corn maze. It’s only the best way to spend this spooky time of year in the South Everett area.



Posted on September 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in South Everett |

Demystifying the Zestimate®

Knowing the value of your home is helpful in many ways. It can help determine one’s net worth, help decide if a home sale or purchase is a financially feasible move, determine the ability to get a loan – and it’s just nice to know where your largest investment stands. Consumers have the option to access websites such as Zillow® to search the Zestimate® or other Automated Valuation Model (AVM) on their property.

A Zestimate is an AVM. The product of an automated valuation technology comes from analysis of public record data and computer decision logic combined to provide a calculated estimate of a probable selling price of a residential property. An AVM generally uses a combination of two types of evaluation, a hedonic model and a repeat sales index. The results of each are weighted, analyzed and then reported as a final estimate of value based on a requested date.

Often times when we talk with potential sellers, their Zestimate (or other AVMs) come up in the overall conversation, which is understandable. This information is relatively easy to access and gives the seller a starting point on the value of their home. Where an AVM can become dangerous is when a consumer thinks it’s accurate. Even worse, when a consumer makes a major financial decision solely based on this information. According to Zillow, less than half of all Zestimates in the Seattle metro area are even within 5.4% of the actual value, and they only give themselves a 2-star (fair) rating on their accuracy. In fact, they publish an accuracy report that you can view here.

In August, the average home price in the Seattle Metro area was $824,000. With less than half of all Zestimates within 5% of the actual value, that is a beginning margin of error of $41,200! Further, they claim that 72.3% of their Zestimates are within 10% of the actual value, which is a marked difference – up to $82,400. Where AVMs are incomplete is that the basis of their formula is tax records, which in our experience are often inaccurate. Also, and most importantly, an AVM does not take into consideration the condition of the home, the neighborhood and other environmental impacts such as school district, road noise and unsightly neighboring homes, to name a few.

At the end of the day, to give an accurate accounting of the value of a home in today’s market requires actually physically touring the home and the surrounding homes that compare. As well as considering current market conditions such as supply and demand and seasonality. An algorithm cannot accomplish this, but a real estate broker can.

So why does the Zestimate exist? Zillow is a publicly traded company (ZG) and their website is their vehicle to create profit. The Zestimate drives consumers to the website who are often dipping their toe in the pool to see what their home might be worth, or searching available homes for sale. When a consumer is searching on the website they are surrounded by real estate broker and mortgage broker ads on every page. These real estate brokers and mortgage brokers are paying for that advertising space, which is how Zillow makes its money and why there is a Zestimate. The Zestimate is not a public service, it is a widget to bring eyes to their advertising space which in turn, sells more ads.

Another important item to note is that Zillow does NOT have all available inventory in the Greater Seattle area on their website. In May, they cut off access to manually input listings, leaving some real estate firms unable to get their listings on the site any longer. Some firms just plainly chose not to syndicate to them. It is estimated that Zillow has between 70%-80% of the total available inventory on their site. In an inventory-tight market like the one we are in now, it is important for consumers to understand that if Zillow is the only source they are searching with, they may be missing out. Brokerage firm websites such as ours have a direct IDX feed from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which refreshes every 15 minutes, insuring the accuracy and completeness of all listing data.

The moral of the story is this: use Zillow as one of the many tools in your real estate evaluation and search toolbox. Zillow provides a great starting point and contains a ton of information to whet your palate when embarking on a real estate endeavor. However, we live in a time of information overload and we are overstimulated at best. Nothing beats the evaluation and discernment of a knowledgeable and experienced real estate broker to help you determine accuracy, which will lead to the empowerment of clarity.

If you are curious about the value of your home in today’s market, please contact us. Any one of our experienced agents can provide an annual real estate review of all of your real estate holdings, or even dive deep into a complete comparative market analysis if you would find that helpful. It is our goal to help keep our clients informed and empower strong decisions.

 

Zillow® and Zestimate® are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

 

 


Posted on September 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in Local Market Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Guide to Mill Creek Community Events All Year Long

If there is one thing that Mill Creek does right, it’s hosting amazing community events. From 5K charity runs and holiday happenings to fun festivals and solemn ceremonies, Mill Creek does it all and then some!

Here is your complete guide to upcoming 2017-2018 community events in Mill Creek:

SEPTEMBER

Run with Heart

  • Where: McCollum Park (600 128th St. S.E. Everett, WA 98204)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: September 16; 7:30am-10:45am

Grab your best pair of tennis shoes and join the community in the 5th annual Run with Heart, benefiting the Ironheart Foundation and Colton’s Army. This event offers a 5K, 8K, Kids 1K, and Toddler Dash races, so the whole family can compete, have fun, and support two wonderful non-profit organizations. Click here to register today.


OCTOBER

Treats on Main Street

  • Where: Town Center (1/2 mile north of S.W. 164th St. on Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: October 31; 4:30pm-6:30pm

Bring all of your little ghouls and goblins down to Mill Creek Town Center for some fun trick-or-treating. “The merchants at the Town Center…participate in handing out treats to children,” Travis DeFries explains. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you will definitely enjoy this event.


Trunk or Treat

  • Where: City Hall North Parking Lot (15728 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: October 31; 6:30pm-8:00pm

After hitting up the Town Center on Halloween, head to City Hall and continue the fun at Travis’ other suggested event. “At Halloween, they [Mill Creek] host[s] a “Trunk or Treat” event at City Hall where the city employees decorate their vehicles parked throughout the parking lot and hand out treats to kids as they walk by.” A safe and fun alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, this is one annual event you will not want to miss.


NOVEMBER

Veteran’s Day Ceremony & Parade

  • Where: Ceremony: Mill Creek Veterans Monument (15429 Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012); Parade: LA Fitness (15024 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)-City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: November 11; Ceremony: 9:00am; Parade: 11:00am

Come out on November 11 and honor those who have fought for our freedom. According to Travis, “the city…has a yearly Veteran’s Day Parade. There is a large monument area to honor its veterans and it is located just south of the Mill Creek Library on Bothell-Everett Hwy.” With a ceremony at the monument before the parade, this event is the perfect way to show your support for our nation’s armed forces.


DECEMBER

Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

  • Where: Santa Parade: LA Fitness (15024 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)-City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012); Tree Lighting: City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: December 2; Santa Parade: TBD; Tree Lighting: 4:00pm

When the holiday season rolls around, Mill Creek celebrates in style. “Around Christmas time, the city has a Santa Parade and Tree Lighting ceremony that is a lot of fun,” Travis shares. Past events have included complimentary train rides for the kids, pictures with Santa before the parade, and other activities provided by the merchants in Town Center. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about this year’s rendition of this yuletide favorite.


APRIL

Flashlight Egg Hunt

  • Where: Heatherwood Middle School (1419 Trillium Blvd. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: TBD

Let your teens get in on the Easter fun at Mill Creek’s annual Flashlight Egg Hunt. Students from 6th-12th grade can bring a flashlight and scour Heatherwood Middle School for candy and other fun prizes while listening to today’s top radio hits. This year’s hunt has already passed, but stay tuned for more information on this event for next year.


Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt

  • Where: Heatherwood Middle School Field (1419 Trillium Blvd. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: TBD

A Mill Creek Easter tradition, families love coming together for the Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt. Over 18,000 eggs are spread out across multiple egg hunts and there is also face painting, balloon animals, music, fire truck tours, bounce houses, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Check back in 2018 for updated information on this festive event.


MAY

Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony & Parade

  • Where: Ceremony: Mill Creek Veterans Monument (15429 Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012); Parade: LA Fitness (15024 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)-City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: May 28; Ceremony: 9:00am, Parade: 11:00am

Join the community on May 28 to pay respects to those who have given their lives for our country at Mill Creek’s Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony & Parade. The event kicks off with a ceremony at the Veterans Monument featuring remarks by the mayor, a prayer from the police chaplain, a laying of a wreath, and more, and continues with the parade. Pay remembrance to a group of brave men and women at this touching event.


JUNE

Summer Art Walks

  • Where: Town Center (1/2 mile north of S.W. 164th St. on Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: June 7, July 12, August 9; 5:00pm-8:00pm

Explore the talent of the local community at Mill Creek’s annual Summer Art Walks. Stroll through Town Center, visit local artists and businesses, and observe a variety of art forms from photography to jewelry and even music. Free for all, this event is a great way to connect with the creative minds that make Mill Creek a beautiful place to live.


Run of the Mill

  • Where: In the Mill Creek Town Center (15418 Main Street, Mill Creek WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: TBD

Enjoy some healthy competition at Mill Creek’s Run of the Mill 5K. “This is…becoming a very popular 5K run/walk that attracts the highest of competitors from the area, along with parents pushing their children in strollers,” says Travis. “All proceeds are donated to local charities! This event is normally held the end of June each year.” Keep your eyes on the Run of the Mill website for more information on registration for 2018.


JULY

3-on-3 Star Fest Basketball Tournament

  • Where: Mill Creek City Hall Annex Parking Lot (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: July 7-8; Time is TBD

Unleash your inner basketball star at Mill Creek’s 3-on-3 Star Fest Basketball Tournament. “…The city hosts a very popular outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament for participants of all ages and abilities,” Travis shares. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or still learning the ropes, you can have a great time at this event. Check the website for updates on registration for 2018.


Mill Creek Festival

  • Where: Part of Mill Creek Blvd. behind Albertsons, Heading up a Portion of 161st Between Bank of America and Rite Aid (for full festival map, click here)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: July 14 11:00am-6:00pm; July 15 11:00am-5:00pm

No city is complete without an annual summer festival and Mill Creek is no exception. “One weekend each July, the city hosts the Mill Creek Festival and it is quickly becoming a hot ticket item,” shares Travis. “There are several stages set up around the festival to host music, a community stage with family friendly acts and even a large pet plaza! There are also over 50 vendors for shopping and eating opportunities!” If you want a sample of what Mill Creek has to offer, you will find that and so much more at this fabulous event.  


Summer Children’s Concerts

  • Where: Library Park (15429 Bothell-Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: Wednesdays in July & August; 12:00pm-1:00pm

If you want a fun summer event for your little one, look no further than the Summer Children’s Concerts at Library Park. Featuring four concerts over four weeks full of music, laughs, and entertainment for all ages, this event is sure to make for a memorable afternoon picnic for the whole family.


AUGUST

National Night Out

  • Where: Buffalo Park (13401 44th Ave. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: August 7; 5:30pm-8:30pm

Working to build communities across the country, National Night Out is a campaign that promotes police-community partnerships, camaraderie among neighbors, and the development of safer, more caring communities overall. Block parties, cookouts, and other events are hosted throughout local neighborhoods and feature visits from emergency personnel, safety demonstrations, exhibits, and more. Mill Creek’s National Night Out is being held at Buffalo Park on August 7, so come out and show your support for local law enforcement and healthy neighborhood building at this event.




Posted on August 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in Mill Creek |

3 Ways to Stay Active in Mill Creek

If you’re looking to stay active in Mill Creek, you’re in luck. From sports venues to miles of trails, there is no end to the opportunities you can take advantage of!

Here are a few of our favorite tips for staying active in Mill Creek:


Mill Creek Sports Park

  • Located at 13903 North Creek Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 7:00am-9:00pm

If you’re a baseball, softball, or soccer lover, you will find the perfect place to play at the Mill Creek Sports Park. Field lights over the diamond and soccer field, a concession stand, and bleachers allow your family and friends to stay and cheer your team onto victory, while the Tot Lot and ADA accessibility means that everyone can enjoy all that the park has to offer. “This Mill Creek Sports [Park] also has a huge, brand new facility,” shares Jen Bowman, so you are guaranteed to experience top-of-the-line amenities at this popular park.


Mill Creek Country Club

  • Located at 15500 Country Club Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Opening Times: 11:00am Monday; 7:30am Tuesday-Thursday; 7:00am Friday; 6:30am
  • Saturday-Sunday
  • Range Hours: Closes at 7:00pm Tuesday-Wednesday & Friday-Sunday; Closes at 3 Thursday; closed Monday

If golf is more your thing, you will want to check out the Mill Creek Country Club. “The Country Club is a private club that has a gem of a golf course that people love to play,” says Travis DeFries. You can enjoy the picturesque sites of Mill Creek while testing your skill on this beautifully-manicured 18-hole course. Dust off your clubs and come see why the Mill Creek Country Club is regarded as one of the premier golf facilities in all of Snohomish County.


Mill Creek Walking Trails

Staying active in Mill Creek is easier than you might think. “Miles and miles of walking trails linking parks all over Mill Creek is one of my favorite features [of the city],” Jen shares. 60 different trails loop throughout Mill Creek, providing some of the most scenic walking, running, biking, and horseback riding opportunities around. Whether you need a place to get in your daily workout or just want to enjoy some fresh air and peaceful nature, you will find what you’re looking for on these gorgeous trails.



Posted on August 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in Mill Creek |

The Top 10 Things To Do With Kids in Mill Creek

There is no end to the fun your child can have with the awesome parks and programs offered in Mill Creek! From top-of-the-line sport complexes to unique class offerings, there is something for every age, interest, and skill level.

Here are 10 of the best things to do with kids in Mill Creek (as recommended by locals!):

Mill Creek Sports Park

  • Located at 13903 North Creek Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 7:00am-9:00pm

If you’re looking for a spot for your kid’s next sports game, check out the Mill Creek Sports Park. “The Mill Creek Sports Park is located at the corner of Bothell-Everett Hwy. and Trillium Blvd. and is the location for a fantastic mixed-use sports field that is used by both soccer and baseball/softball,” shares Travis DeFries. “It is a turfed field, so a little bit of rain doesn’t cancel games, it has lights to be able to play up until 10 PM and it even has a snack shack and announcers booth!” With other amenities like a Tot Lot and picnic tables, the whole family can enjoy the great outdoors while cheering on the home team.


Mill Creek Skate Park

  • Located at Mill Creek Sports Park (13903 North Creek Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012)

Another popular feature of the Mill Creek Sports Park comes recommended by both Travis and Tonya Tye. The Mill Creek Skate Park offers a wide range of bowls as well as an innovative street course that consists of several sections tied together, an 8-stair down rail, and much, much more. Whether your kid’s a beginner or a seasoned skating pro, he or she will find the perfect challenge at this local favorite spot.


Mill Creek Little League

  • Located at 14105 11th Dr. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012

“Mill Creek Little League has one of the largest and most successful Little League programs in the state,” shares Travis DeFries. “Every year they have over 800 boys and girls between the ages of 4-18 play baseball or softball. 9 years ago, the 12-year-old All-Stars ended up being the NW representatives at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. This year the 10-year-old and 11-year-old boys All-Stars teams both finished 2nd at the state tournament. This year, the 12-year-old girls softball All-Stars won the state tournament for the 2nd year in a row! The took 2nd place in the regional championship game to represent the West in the World Series. They lost a heartbreaker 1-0 in extra innings, but went down in history as the best softball team to ever come out of Mill Creek!”

If your 5-18 has expressed interest in baseball or softball, sign them up for Mill Creek Little League this year!


Giggle & Wiggle Playscape

  • Located at 3226 132nd St. S.E. #105 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: Drop-In Play: 10:00am-1:30pm & 3:00pm-6:00pm Monday-Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm Saturday-Sunday; Birthday Party Time Slots: 6:00pm Monday-Friday, 12:00pm, 2:15pm, & 4:30pm Saturday-Sunday

When it comes to spending fun, quality time with your little one, no place beats the Giggle & Wiggle Playscape. This local indoor playground features soft equipment that gives kids the chance to jump, climb, run, and tumble, and develop motor, coordination, and balance skills in the process. Get your kid away from the screen and into some real-world adventure today at Giggle & Wiggle.


Applause Studio

  • Located at 17903 Bothell Everett Hwy. #103 Bothell, WA 98012
  • Hours: Click here for complete schedule of upcoming classes

If your child loves being on stage, they will love the opportunities that await at Applause Studio. Varieties of dance, musical theater and acting, and other great classes teach students the fundamentals of performing and help them to build confidence and stage presence (all while having fun). With a free trial class offered for all new students, there is nothing to lose by checking out this fun spot!


SafeSplash Swim School Mill Creek

  • Located at 15024 Main St. Ste. A Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 8:30am-8:30pm Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm Saturday, 9:00am-3:00pm Sunday; Class Hours: 3:45pm-8:00pm Monday & Wednesday, 10:15am-2:15pm Saturday

Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the summer fun has to! At SafeSplash Swim School, kids get the opportunity to learn how to swim in a safe, state-of-the-art environment from passionate instructors who know how important swimming is for a child’s lifelong safety, development, and confidence. No matter what level your child is at, there is a lesson tailored to his or her needs with individualized attention and top-notch customer service that makes SafeSplash unlike any other swim school around.


Mill Creek Parks with Playgrounds

Mill Creek certainly has no shortage of great local parks with playgrounds that kids will love. Buffalo, Cougar, Heron, Highlands, Hillside, Library, Nickel Creek, Pine Meadow, and Silver Crest Park all offer playgrounds perfect for climbing, sliding, jumping, and running off some steam while parents enjoy some much-needed relaxation time at a picnic or open grass area. Click here to learn more about these parks and to find the one closest to you.


North Creek Trail

  • Located from McCollum Park (600 128th St. S.E. Everett, WA 98208)-North Creek Park (1001 183rd St. Bothell, WA 98012)

According to Tonya, “there are some nice walking trails near the downtown area and around Village Green Drive.” One of these trails is the scenic North Creek Trail, which links the cities of Mill Creek, Bothell, and Everett. Filled with lush plant life, a serene duck pond, and other natural beauties, this trail provides the perfect opportunity for you to get your kids off the couch, active, and making meaningful connections with their local environment.


Arena Sports and Entertainment

  • Located at 13500 Bothell-Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Opening: Fall 2017 (click here for construction updates)

Sports lovers will have even more to enjoy in Mill Creek near the end of this year. “Just down from Mill Creek Sports is the new Arena Sports complex that is scheduled to open this Fall,” says Travis. “It is a 98,000 square foot facility that will include a full family entertainment center destined to be the go-to-destination for parties, special events, group activities and more. Activities include an indoor inflatable playground, bowling (both full-size lanes and mini five-pin lanes), multi-floor laser tag arena, rock climbing tower, two-story ropes course, 100 arcade games, on-site dining and two indoor soccer fields that can be used for recreational games and practices.” Check out all the info on Arena Sports now because once it’s open, your kids will never want to go anywhere else!


Recreation, Community Events, & Other Programs

On top of all of the amazing opportunities for sports, education, and fun in Mill Creek, the city itself also offers a wide variety of recreation, seasonal community events, and unique programs for kids. From annual holiday favorites like “Trunk or Treat” or the Santa parade, to innovative cooking, sports, and other creative classes, your children can get off the couch and socialize, learn new skills, and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Registration for fall and winter is now open, so be sure to check out the guide here for a complete list of available programs and upcoming events.



Posted on August 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in Mill Creek |

Your Guide to Dining & Shopping in the Mill Creek Town Center

One of Mill Creek’s top attraction is the popular Mill Creek Town Center! “The city now has a mixed-use, city-sponsored complex called the Mill Creek Town Center…,” shares our own Travis DeFries. “It is easy to spend several hours walking the sidewalks and checking out the small, local businesses, along with the numerous wonderful restaurants.”

Indeed, with everything at your fingertips, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in the big city: “I love the convenience and the downtown feel of the Mill Creek Town Center,” says Ginna Demme. “I can grab my coffee, get a manicure, grocery shop, and run other errands all in the same great spot!” Tonya Tye agrees, noting “the Town Center is a fun place to walk around, go for coffee, dessert or dinner.”

Here is your complete guide to dining and shopping in the Mill Creek Town Center (as recommended by locals!):


Central Market Mill Creek

  • Located at 15605 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 7:00am-11:00pm

When it comes to grocery shopping in Mill Creek, no place beats the Town Center’s own Central Market. “Central Market is a destination grocery experience,” says Jen Bowman. “Best produce, delicious prepared foods for a quick and healthy meal, awesome sushi, and great floral selection for cut and potted plants and flowers.”

Heather Potts agrees, noting “Central Market Grocery Store has the best selection of fresh fruit, wine, seafood, meats, made-to-order sandwiches, fresh sliced deli meats and cheeses, a large selection of organic foods, sushi and more.” Follow Heather’s suggestions and “grab a bite to eat and enjoy the outdoor courtyard or stop to shop for a special dinner…” No matter what, you are sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience at this store that, as Heather simply puts, “has it all”!


Outdoor Concerts

  • Located at the Forum (15111 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • Hours: 6:00pm-8:00pm Wednesdays

There is much more to Mill Creek’s Town Center than just shopping, as Travis can tell you: “In the summer they have free outdoor concerts every Wednesday night from 6-8 PM. Bands that have played this year include Fabulous Roof Shakers, The Infinity Project, Big Dog Revue, High Voltage, Highway 9, Cherry Cherry, Sly Mr Y, Creme Tangerine and Ventura Highway Revisited.”

They have expanded this year’s series into September, so check out the Town Center events calendar for more info (and get your dancing shoes ready!).


Azul Restaurant & Lounge

  • Located at 15118 Main St. #100 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 11:00am-1:00am Monday-Friday (Dinner served until 10:00pm Sunday-Thursday, 11:00pm Friday-Saturday) ; 9:00am-1:00am (Brunch 9:00am-3:00pm)

Whether you’re looking to wind down after a long work week or want to take the family out to a nice dinner, Azul Restaurant & Lounge is an excellent choice: “Azul Restaurant & Lounge is located in the Town Center and is open for lunch and dinner each day,” shares Travis. “Its upscale, casual environment, paired with the Latin-inspired cuisine, makes Azul a perfect gathering spot in Mill Creek.”

Check out their popular Happy Hour menu, featuring $2.00 chips and salsa, drink specials, and some of the best Mexican and Caribbean dishes this side of the border.  


University Bookstore Mill Creek

  • Located at 15311 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 9:00am-8:00pm Monday-Thursday; 9:00am-9:00pm Friday-Saturday; 10:00am-6:00pm Sunday

Back-to-school time is here again, which means it’s time to stock up on everything you will need to start the year off right. Luckily, Mill Creek Town Center is home to one of 6 local University Bookstores.

“UW Bookstore has great selection of gifts, UW apparel, and specialty magazines and newspapers,” says Jen. Indeed, whether you’re looking for a new book to read, some reference guides, or something to show off your Husky pride, you will find it and so much more here.  


Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub

  • Located at 800 164th St. S.E. L Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm

What could be better than pizza? How about pizza paired with 18 varieties of cold craft beer? Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub is a local favorite and go-to spot for Travis and his family. This family-friendly locale is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and features one of the best menus in the Town Center.

“They make their own special dough each morning to be used for their incredible pizzas and sandwiches,” says Travis. “They also serve a wide variety of great pasta dishes and salads.” While you’re here, be sure to take advantage of their beer selection, too: “They have also become very well known in the area for their extensive beer selection and ever-changing beers on tap,” Travis shares. “If you are looking for something not found everywhere else, you need to come here!” Indeed, Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub is one pizza place you will definitely not want to pass up.


Pacific Fly Fishers

  • Located at 1018 164th St. S.E. Ste. A-22 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm Monday-Friday; 10:00am-6:00pm Saturday; 11:00am-5:00pm Sunday

“If you’re a serious outdoorsman,” Becky Larsen states, “check out Pacific Fly Fishers. Expert service in your own backyard.” Indeed, everything from boats, flies, lines, and other fishing tools, to classes and water quality resources provided by passionate local fishers, gives you all you need to hone your skills and become a true master fisherman.


La Palmera Mill Creek

  • Located at 15224 Main St. #202 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm Sunday-Thursday; 11:00am-1:00am Friday-Saturday

Opened in 1991, La Palmera has been serving up delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine for 26 years. “La Palmera is a favorite Mexican restaurant,” Becky says. “Family owned and great food.” If you’re a fan of grande burritos, sizzling fajitas, and margaritas made with premium tequila, this restaurant is the place for you.


Hot Yoga Inc. Mill Creek

  • Located at 15217 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 6:00am-9:30pm Monday-Thursday; 6:00am-7:00pm Friday; 8:00am-5:00pm Saturday; 8:00am-6:30pm Sunday

If you’re looking to put a little more zen in your life, check out Hot Yoga Inc. This low-impact exercise routine works with your body’s natural range of motion to help you lose weight, de-stress, and become your best self.

As an added bonus, Heather shares that “Hot Yoga Inc. has a $10 new student 10/10 deal and [is] one of the only studios with infrared heating.” 


Mill Creek Sports

  • Located at 13616 Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday

Local sports fans cannot seem to get enough of the new Mill Creek Sports, located just near the Town Center. “Just down the road is the location of the new Mill Creek Sports, which is known as one of the best sports memorabilia shops around,” shares Travis. “They outgrew their previous place in town and now have a huge 2-story facility to house their items.”

“Mill Creek Sports is known throughout the greater Seattle area as the place to go if you want sports memorabilia,” Brian Hayter notes. “They have an incredibly wide selection of authentic autographed Seattle and beyond sports items. A must see for a sports fan!” Travis agrees, adding that “several times per month they also bring in high profile current or retired sports stars to sign autographs. Anyone and everyone has been there to sign autographs!” Whether you’re looking for a gift or looking to meet your sports hero, you will love the offerings at Mill Creek Sports.



Posted on August 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in Mill Creek |

3 Reasons why we are NOT Headed Towards Another Bubble

 

real estate bubble

Are we headed for another housing collapse?

We get asked this question often, and we can understand why. With the 2008 Great Recession not too far back in our rear-view mirror it is understandable that folks don’t want history to repeat itself, as that was a very painful time for many. Also, price appreciation has been rapid across the country, but especially in our region. The large price gains might seem familiar to the gains of the previous up market of 2004-2007, but the environment is much different.  Here are three reasons why we are not headed towards (or in) another real estate bubble:

 

1. Lending Requirements

real estate bubble mortgage credit availabilityAs this graph shows, lending requirements are much more stringent now than what they were prior to the fall of the housing market.

Previous lending practices allowed people to get into homes with risky debt-to-income ratios, low credit scores and undocumented incomes. They called this sub-prime lending. 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. Currently, the average credit score of secured mortgages over the last 12 months according to Ellie Mae was 724. During the days of sub-prime lending people 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 very easy to just walk away.

 

real estate bubble equity by state
The graph above shows the percentage of homes in our state with significant equity (20% or more) according to CoreLogic. Today many homeowners, especially in our region are making large down payments to begin with. Believe me, when competing with multiple offers on a house, the size of down payment matters – hence many buyers landing homes today are making large down payments. Unlike the market prior to the crash, when people have high equity levels they are not likely to abandon their home or miss payments.

2. Inventory Levels  &  3. Our Job Market

The biggest challenge in our market has been low inventory levels and high housing demand. It’s simply the concept of supply and demand. Our thriving job market has afforded folks already in our area the ability to make moves, and it is bringing people into our area from other parts of the country. Washington State’s net in-migration is 43% higher than it was 10 years ago. This has created increased demand, especially for homes closer to job centers resulting is 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 should slow down as inventory increases. As inventory increases we anticipate a leveling out of appreciation rates to historical norms of 3-4% annually, but not decreasing home values like the 2008-2010 crash.

We 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. Hopefully digging into the topics above has shed some light on how it is different. According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist and nationally sought after expert on all things real estate, buyers should not wait this market out, due to future price appreciation and today’s historically low interest rates. Check out his latest vlog that addresses this topic.

As always, it is our goal to help keep the community informed, and empower strong decisions. Please let us know if we can answer any questions or help you or anyone you know with their real estate needs.

 

 


Posted on August 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm
Windermere Real Estate North | Posted in Local Market Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,