Waterfront living isn’t unique to the Puget Sound region, but it’s definitely part of what makes working as a Realtor in the area so special. Jeff, Miles and I have listed and sold some really great waterfront properties over the years. They’ve each had features you would expect to find with a waterfront property, but they’ve also had personal histories that have made each house unique – and uniquely personal to us. Here are three of our favorite waterfront sales.
First up is a Raft Island Modern that was rebuilt from the foundation up in 2008 for an artist friend of ours and her husband. The architect for the project was their son, which made owning and living in the house extra special for them. Some of my favorite things about this house are the open volumes of space, the mix of repurposed wood and steel, the huge windows overlooking Henderson Bay, the expansive wrap-around deck and the artist studio up above the house. It’s rare to find this combination of drama, elegance and craftsmanship on the water, which made this home a pleasure to list and sell.
Waterfront homes aren’t just limited to the saltwater shores of the sound. There are also lots of fantastic lakefront homes in the area. A buyer client of ours recently purchased a beautiful, historic home in Lakewood with 130 feet of water frontage on desirable Gravelly Lake. Our client was looking for a home that was big enough to entertain her kids and grandkids, and this house definitely delivered. Features include a spacious gourmet kitchen, a formal dining room, comfortable sitting areas and several decks with views of the lake. This gated property also includes a dock and a two car detached garage with a guest apartment above.
The last home on our waterfront “tour” is a spectacular west-facing property in Poulsbo that we sold to friends of ours a few years back. The house was originally built for a glass artist in 1997, and his handcrafted light fixtures and stained glass windows can be seen throughout. This property embodies the best of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle – sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains, easy access to the water for paddle boarding and kayaking and an abundance of oysters, mussels and crab just waiting to be harvested. We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many a feast over the years at this one of a kind waterfront gem.
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re buying or selling a waterfront home – soil stability and drainage, bulkhead condition, tideland rights and moorage capacity to name just a few. That’s why it’s important to partner with a Realtor who has experience with waterfront homes and a good working knowledge about what makes them unique. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a waterfront home, we’re here to help.
Mark Pinto is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Professional Partners, specializing in residential real estate in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place and Lakewood.
Mark Pinto: (253) 318-0923
Obtaining a post-secondary education is a big accomplishment, but it can also be a challenging journey for many. In addition to their academic demands, many students experience unexpected life events that can add a whole new level of difficulty to the process. Many high performing students at local Pierce College have been faced with these unexpected challenges and have been forced to make tough decisions that often directly impact their education. Can you imagine having to make impossible choices like: Rent or tuition? Dinner or daycare? Textbooks or hospital bills?
The Student Success Campaign
As a member of the Pierce College Foundation Board of Directors, I’m involved in an effort to help these students in need called the Pierce College Student Success Campaign. This $3.3 million fundraising campaign focuses solely on ensuring the success of high performing students faced with trying life challenges. Donations to the Student Success Campaign come from a variety of advocates, including alumni, faculty, staff, community members and local grant sources.
The Foundation and Campaign at Work
As an early example of the success of this campaign, I can share a story about a recent nursing school graduate. She was abandoned by her husband in the middle of the academic term, suddenly making her a single mother. Because her classes took place in the evenings, she needed childcare in order to attend. With her change in circumstances, she was unable to afford the necessary childcare. The Foundation stepped in to pay for her childcare for the rest of the term, allowing her to attend all of her classes and eventually graduate with honors. Because of success stories like this one, which have greatly benefited the lives of its students, Pierce College was recently recognized as one of the top five community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute.
In addition to its efforts to support the Student Success Campaign, the Pierce College Foundation hosts several different fundraising events throughout the year, including a golf tournament which will be held this year on August 15th, 2019. Click here for more information and/or to register: https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/foundation-events. The Foundation also hosts a Distinguished Alumni dinner where supporters and advocates can make donations to support student scholarships and other important student services.
Pierce College focuses on enabling students to achieve their academic goals and broaden their futures, with the hope that they’ll give back to their communities. Pierce College alumni have gone on to contribute to the South Sound community in incredible ways. One good example is Victoria Woodards, the current Mayor of Tacoma, who is a Pierce College distinguished alum.
More than 60% of the student body at Pierce College is made up of first-generation college students who may have had to beat the odds just to get where they are. This is one of the many reasons the Foundation works so hard to ensure that all students have the tools necessary to succeed. Many students go on to attend four year colleges in the area, with the majority transferring to UW Tacoma, while others go directly into working in their field of study.
I’m proud to serve on the steering committee for the Student Success Campaign, on the Foundations’ board of directors and on its finance committee. I believe strongly that the success of our community depends on having a motivated, educated workforce, and Pierce College is helping to close the hiring gap for many businesses in our region. It’s really gratifying to serve and support the college and to watch our students go on to become leaders in the South Sound and beyond.
Please click here for more information about the Pierce College Foundation and the Student Success Campaign: https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/foundation. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you!
Jeff, Mark and Miles recently listed 2207 N Washington Street, a 1925 Craftsman that comes complete with a covered front porch and porch swing. A great home in an even greater location, just blocks from all that the Proctor District has to offer. The farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, happy hours at Cactus and date nights at the Blue Mouse Theater. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
Features of the home include:
- 4 bedrooms
- 2 1/2 bathrooms
- Hardwood and fir floors
- Spacious formal living room with a gas fireplace with original Batchelder tile surround
- Formal dining room
- Main floor master suite
- Updated kitchen with stainless appliances, quartz counters and a breakfast room
- Unfinished basement with exterior access
- Fully fenced backyard with patio
- Detached one car garage and two car parking pad off the alley
The spacious formal living room is a great place to gather with friends and family, offering two separate seating areas, a gas fireplace and easy access to the dining room.
Large formal dining room with hardwood floors and original windows.
The kitchen has been tastefully updated with quartz counters, stainless appliances and cork flooring. An adjacent breakfast room makes a great spot for casual dining.
Wake up each morning in this bright and beautiful main floor master suite with original fir floors and a fresh, updated bathroom with shower.
The home’s fully fenced back yard is perfect for entertaining, with a covered porch off the kitchen and a great patio area.
As one of Tacoma’s most desirable neighborhoods, the Proctor District offers an idyllic urban village experience. The area features some great old historic homes and a wonderful mix of owner operated shops and restaurants, including Metropolitan Market, Chalet Bowl, Cactus and Cooks Tavern. Proctor is also home to the historic Blue Mouse Theater – the oldest continuously operating movie theater in Washington State. The University of Puget Sound serves as an anchor institution in the neighborhood, providing access to a wide variety of cultural and athletic activities. With great public schools and easy access to downtown Tacoma, Point Ruston and Point Defiance Park, the Proctor District has something for everyone.
For additional photos and more detailed information about this property, visit: www.2207nwashington.com
If you’d like more information about homes in the Proctor District, we’re here to help.
I’d like to begin this post with a disclaimer. The information I’m sharing here is anecdotal in nature, and my opinions are based largely on my own personal experience investing in and selling residential real estate since 1993. I know that quite a few Realtors may disagree with me, but I’m having a distinct feeling of “déjà vu” with respect to the local housing market, a feeling that reminds me of the months just before the market peaked in August of 2007. Median home prices in Pierce County are currently well above that 2007 peak (see the chart below) and well above the levels we would expect to see with normal appreciation (the red line). While the numbers differ by county in the Western Washington area, the overall trends remain the same.
FIRST SIGNS OF A CHANGE? Watching what new home builders and developers are doing is never a bad idea. I was recently showing homes to relocation clients interested in new construction in Puyallup, and what I saw gave me pause. Builders were working their crews around the clock to finish houses that were already under construction, but there seemed to be little to no new ground being broken for additional homes. Builders’ agents were also offering heavy, unadvertised incentives (in some cases 10-15% of a home’s total value) to buyers willing to purchase in June. The MLS data below shows a recent decline in pending new construction home sales in Pierce County (the red line), consistent with a decrease in new housing starts. Of note, Time Magazine has pointed to this decrease in new housing starts as an early warning sign of a broader recession (SEE THE FULL ARTICLE HERE).
IS A RECESSION AROUND THE CORNER? For seven leading economists interviewed by Forbes Magazine in May of this year, the answer is yes. Predictions for the start of that recession range from late 2018 to 2022. SEE THE FULL ARTICLE HERE. A lot will depend on the fiscal policies of the current administration, but rising interest rates in combination with a recession will almost certainly have a negative impact on our local housing market.
SHOULD YOU PANIC? The answer here is no. I’m not expecting a market drop like we experienced in 2007 because the fundamentals of home mortgage lending are significantly different than they were back then, but I do anticipate a decline in real estate values within the next year. Is now a good time to buy? It depends on how long you’re planning to own the house and how much equity you’ll have in the house at the time of purchase. We’re advising clients who expect to have their house for at least five years and who have the capacity to hold on to the property through a market downturn to buy at a price they feel is reasonable. If buyer clients tell us they might have to resell a house within the next two to three years and/or if they don’t have a lot of equity to put into a house, purchasing now may be riskier. Is it a good time to sell? Absolutely. For seller clients thinking of selling “in the next few years”, we’re recommending that they do it sooner rather than later. While today’s sellers could be missing out on additional appreciation, timing the housing market for maximum gain can be difficult. If selling now fits with your larger life plans, sell now and avoid the risk of a loss in value if and when the market shifts.