Green Lake Community Book Fair Sept 13th

September 2, 2015 7:03am

Bethany Lutheran Church is hosting a book fair with thousands of books at reduced prices. Books include a wide array of genres and also includes CDs, crafts and greeting cards.

The sale benefits the peace and justice advocacy work of Lutheran Peace Fellowship. For more information about the sale, call 206-349-2501.

Bethany Lutheran Church is located one block north of Green Lake at Woodlawn and Latona, around the corner from the library.

Sunday, September 13: Noon – 6 p.m.



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Conifers Seeking Loving Homes

August 31, 2015 6:51am


via hiltonpond

Looking for a new tree to add to your yard?

Through the City of Seattle’s Trees for Neighborhoods project Seattle residents can apply for up to four free trees for their yard or planting strip.

Here’s how it works: Participants receive free trees, water bags, mulch and planting and care instruction.

Availability: While many of this year’s small ornamentals have sold out, you can still apply for one of five conifers.

How big are these trees? If you have the space, Trees for Neighborhoods recommends considering planting one of three native conifers: the grand firwestern hemlock, or western red cedar. For small, narrow spaces, plant the graceful Serbian spruce. Consider the deciduous bald cypress and enjoy the changing color and soft beautiful foliage. Bald cypresses are excellent urban trees because of their adaptability, even winning the Society of Municipal Arborists’ Tree of the Year award.

And if you need a little inspiration, the project has created a interactive map of plantings from 2009-2014.

To learn more about this year’s species, space requirement, and to apply, please visit:



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Green Lake Real Estate – Second Quarter + July Results

August 28, 2015 6:48am


Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Seattle Greenlaker sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods. They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

Bidding wars continue to be the norm rather than the exception in our Green Lake neighborhood as well as rest of the region, as shown in this recent article.  While we see escalations as much as 30%, the overall average in the last 6 months was 5.7% over asking price which is 1.8% higher than during the same period in 2014, which shows that the market is even more competitive than a year ago.  We find that pricing along with condition and presentation is the key to maximizing your return on investment.  Some sellers attempt to price at the highest end of the range or higher and this strategy tends to backfire often necessitating price drops down the road and ending up with a lower sales price as the end result. While you don’t want to leave money on the table, you also need to leave some room for the market to drive the sales price to the highest level.  Pricing and negotiations in this competitive market are both an art and a science.

We are often asked if we think this is another bubble, or when the escalations will stop. While the market is certain to change at some point, the current demand is based on a solid local economy rather than risky lending practices which caused the Great Recession in 2007/2008. Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and has been hailed as the next Silicon Valley.  Compared to San Francisco home prices are still a bargain in our region. The quality of life and natural beauty are other factors driving the growth as a recent Puget Sound Business Journal poll revealed.  If and when interest rates begin to rise the escalations and demand may ease gradually, however, the strong sellers’ market is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

In this forum, we will focus on Green Lake numbers specifically so that you may get an idea of how your investment may be impacted by the current boom.

The statistics provided in this post are hyper-local, capturing only Green Lake and Tangletown as outlined in the map above. The numbers are for single family homes including townhomes only.

Statistics in the table below are based on home sales in the area outlined on the map above and are derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.


Second Quarter + July Comparison 2014 to 2015

2014 2015 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 81 72 -9  -11%
Average Days on Market 10 9 -1  -10%
Average  List Price $673,881 $707,014 +$33,133   +4.9%
Average  Sales Price $700,619 $747,055 +$46,436  +6.6%
List to Sales Price Ratio 103.9% 105.7%  +1.8%


Single Family Homes 

The number of sold homes in the second quarter is down 11% from 2014 during the same period. Average days on market dropped from only 10 days to 9 days (10% down).  Although the inventory drop is less drastic than last quarter, the trend of low inventory continues, fostering the fiercely competitive conditions in our local market.  The result is that the average sold price has risen 6.6% year over year to $747,055 in our neighborhood.

Escalations are intense. We have seen several single story with finished basements bungalows (around 2,000 sq ft) escalate well into $900,000 range this year.  Several homes escalated more than 20%.  The sweeter the home, the better the location or the bigger the lot, the more intense is the bidding.


What the Trends are Telling Us

The following charts capture Green Lake (area as defined by NWMLS data) real estate trends for the last 15 months, beginning with May 2014.

The bar graph below tells us how many homes were available for sale (light green), how many went under contract (red line) and how many sales closed each month (dark green).  We can see from the light green bars that there were far less homes available for sale in the second quarter of 2015 than during the second half of 2014.  Actual closed sales (dark green) are lower than last year due to the lower supply in active listings.  However, you can see that buyer demand continues to far outpace supply (red line) and even as housing inventory rose in the spring and summer months, buyer demand kept pace and absorbed most available homes for sale quickly!  Intense bidding wars and price increases are how these statistics continue to play out in the marketplace.

Homes for Sale – Pended and Sold

homes for sale

In the chart below, the yellow bar graph shows average days on market.  You can see that even though days on market were low last year, they are even lower this year.  Sellers are generally keeping their homes on the market for about a week before looking at offers, otherwise, the days on market figures would be even lower.  If consumers could buy a home on the spot, they would, but sellers would rather create competition to drive the price up.

Days on Market and Original List-to-Sales Price Percentage

days on market

The chart below illustrates months of inventory.  It is derived based on a calculation dividing the number of active homes for sale by the number of homes that closed in a given month and attempts to project how many months it will take for the entire available inventory to sell.  Anything under 2 months of inventory represents a sellers’ market. You can see how inventory in the second quarter of 2015 has significantly dropped even below the already low numbers of 2014.

Months of Inventory

months of inventory

In Summary

For sellers, there has never been a better time to sell.  Real estate markets, like stock markets can change quickly. However, we have no current indicators that conditions will change in the near future.  Once interest rates begin to rise, as is predicted, the market may change as buyers will have less buying power and feel less pressure to act quickly.  Also, once sellers begin taking advantage of this market, inventory may rise and we may start seeing a slowdown in the market.


Investors Lock in Gains 

In our practice, we have been seeing numerous long-term landlords taking advantage of the market and realizing their returns.  Foreign buyers with cash also represent a big buyer segment which has also intensified price increases for multi-family and other investment properties.

Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Seattle Greenlaker sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods.  They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski /

Keller Williams Greater Seattle
1307 N 45th St, Suite 300
Seattle, WA  98103


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Vote for Green Lake Park

August 27, 2015 10:15am


The Seattle Times is asking readers to vote for their favorite Seattle park and you guessed it, Green Lake is one of the contenders. On Monday, August 31 the list of parks will be whittled down to eight. So go ahead. Vote for your favorite – (ahem) Green Lake!



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What’s Up With Green Lake’s Low Water Level?

August 27, 2015 7:32am

View of the swimming platform in East Green Lake

Have you noticed the level of Green Lake seems to be lower? It’s not your imagination. The Lake is so low in fact that in late July Seattle Parks Department had to remove the 3-meter diving boards from both East and West Green Lake. Why? The Parks Department confirmed that the drought has caused the level of the lake to lower dramatically.

Green Lake isn’t a deep lake. The deepest tends to be about 30 feet, but most if it is much shallower.

We reached out to Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) to find out if they had depth information. According to FOGL who took data from the east side of the lake, not only is the lake level low but it is lower than the past few summers, that are also trending lower.  See the Friends of Green Lake graph below.


Richard Fleming, President of Friends of Green Lake said “since the majority of water entering Green Lake comes from rainfall onto its surface, the effect of major rainfall is often seen as a rise in surface elevation…  I must emphasize that while this summer the lake and the region are experiencing a substantive drought; in the prior two years the lake also experienced water levels well below what was casually observed in prior years.  Thus, while the conditions this summer are more severe; 2013, 2014 and 2015 each show unusually low lake levels.”

Fleming says that the change in the level can not be explained, despite discussing with both Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Parks Department.

“In the up-coming elections, citizens may wish to ask candidates ‘Where has the water for Green Lake gone, and what is proposed to restore Green Lake water levels?’ Fleming said.



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Green Lake Community Center & Evans Pool close for maintenance Aug 30 – Sept 7

August 26, 2015 6:41am

via mywallingford

Just a little PSA: Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool will be closed from Sunday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 7 for facility maintenance. The community center floors are getting refinished and the chemicals used required the buildings to be vacated. But walkers and runners of the lake don’t fret, the outside bathrooms will remain open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. during this time.


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Invest in Youth Needs Volunteers for Daniel Bagley Elementary

August 25, 2015 6:48am

via Invest in Youth

Looking for a volunteer opportunity this fall? Invest in Youth is in need of volunteer tutors to work with students this school year. The Seattle-based non-profit organization provides free tutoring to local elementary students across the city, including at Bagley Elementary in Greenlake. Tutoring begins the first week of October, runs through May and takes place once every week.

The program works like this: each tutor is matched with the same student for the whole school year and the pair works together on things like playing math games, reading stories or working on homework, for an hour once a week. Educational materials and activities, training and support, and heartfelt appreciation are provided at every session.

For more information or to apply to be a tutor, visit Invest in Youth or contact Alison at Substitute tutors are also needed on a as needed basis.


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SPT Nominated for Four Gregory Awards

August 24, 2015 6:47am


Seattle Public Theatre has been nominated for four Gregory Awards, which honors Washington State theatre excellence.

The Nominations include:

Hannah Mootz, Outstanding Actress in a Play, Slowgirl
Kevin McKeon, Outstanding Actor in a Play, Slowgirl
Wayne Rawley, Outstanding New Play, Christmastown
Evan Mosher, Outstanding Sound/Music Design, Slowgirl

The Gregory Awards are presented October 26, so we will have to stay tuned until then. Good luck SPT!


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Bat Walks in Green Lake

August 21, 2015 7:04am

Greenlakers have two opportunities to check out the bats in our hood for a bat walk hosted by Bats Northwest. One, this next Monday, August 24 and again in September. Green Lake is home to three resident bat populations, Big Brown, Silver-haired and Small Myotis bats. The walk is more of a viewing area at dusk by the Green Lake Bathhouse Theatre where the group can watch the bats at their favorite nightly foraging areas.

For more information, go to

Upcoming Bat walks:

August 24 at 7:00 p.m.

September 9 at 6:30 p.m.



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SR 99 Closures This Weekend

August 20, 2015 6:51am

Don’t hate us for telling you this but… both directions of SR 99 between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street will close from Friday night, Aug. 21, to Monday morning, Aug. 24. The closure will bring about a smoother street, which is actually a bridge and part of the northbound ramps/roadway that will connect to the SR99 tunnel, according to SDOT.


To find out more about the project, check out their site.


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