Do your fruit trees drop more fruit on the ground than into your hands? Do you seek the secret to growing apples organically – without worms? Would you like to help harvest surplus fruit in your neighborhood and get it to those who need it most?

City Fruit, a Seattle non-profit that supports care and harvest of local tree fruit, will be expanding into the Wallingford, Fremont, and Ballard city-fruit-logoneighborhoods this summer to harvest fruit that would normally go to waste. This fruit is then donated to food banks, shelters, and feeding programs.

In the past, Solid Ground’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest organized volunteers to pick this fruit. Due to funding cuts, Solid Ground will no longer conduct community harvests, so City Fruit will manage the harvest in the north end neighborhoods. City Fruit already collects fruit in West Seattle, South Seattle / Beacon Hill, and Phinney / Greenwood.

Want to learn more about City Fruit? Stop by the “Beautification Wallingford” event this Saturday, April 19, at Wallingford Center, and chat with City Fruit staffers and volunteers. You can sign up to have your fruit tree harvested or to volunteer to help with the harvest.

And while at Wallingford Center, lend a hand to take care of the street trees along 45th. Volunteers will be cleaning up garbage, grass, and weeds around the trees. Tools, gloves, and instructions will be provided.

Meet at Wallingford Center starting at 10 am. Rev up your volunteer engines with coffee and donuts at 10 am, and pizza at noon. A limited number of special gifts from the Dept. of Neighborhoods will be available to those who show up early.

Questions? Email: [email protected] Or check out City Fruit’s website.

Meet Brady Walkinshaw

John Bredeson and his family are hosting an event for our new house representative in Olympia, Brady Walkinshaw, this Friday from 6 – 8 pm at their home at 3817 Wallingford Ave N. He says that while it is a campaign event, it is open to anyone who wants to get to know Brady.

If you plan to attend or have any questions, please email John at [email protected]

Great Beer Hike

Hand_Truckin__Media_Advisory_pdfShould you see a parade toting a a beer keg through Wallingford this Sunday, here’s what it’s all about:

For the fourth year in a row, Latona Pub continues the tradition of showcasing a selection of craft beers transported by foot, bike, and sailboat from local breweries to the Green Lake area pub during the week leading up to Earth Day. The sustainable beer transportation events will culminate in a celebration at the pub on Sunday, April 20.

Volunteers from Feet First will deliver the final keg—Hand Truckin’ Amber Ale—after a 10 mile walk from Two Beers Brewery in SODO to Latona Pub in Green Lake. A midway stop at Zeeks Pizza in Belltown for lunch will keep participants’ energy and spirits high.

In honor of Earth Day, it will be a “zero-carbon event” (volunteers will transport the ale 10 miles on foot), and it will benefit Feet First, the non-profit organization working to make Washington more walkable.

Volunteers will leave Two Beers Brewery in SODO at 9:30 am and plan to arrive at the Latona Pub at about 2:00PM. If you’re interested in joining, see the event web site.

Wallingford Real Estate

(This real estate snapshot provided by Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski, Wallingford-based realtors and Wallyhood sponsors)

Home sales prices have increased a whopping 11.95% from a median sales price of $581,770 in first quarter of 2013 to $651,281 in first quarter of 2014. So the trend of 12% annual price increases that we have seen in 2013 is continuing.  Inventory is still extremely low, contributing to this high appreciation: with limited selection, multiple offers become the norm and drive prices upward. Sales prices in the 1st quarter of 2014 were on average 3% higher than list prices, as opposed to 2013 where sales prices came in around 2% higher than list price.

As real estate brokers, we are certainly feeling the shortage of inventory, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find homes for our buyer clients, and then to compete for them.  As listing agents we often see buyers waiving all of their contingencies (inspection, financing, and appraisal) in order to get the house of their dreams. Some homes in the neighborhood have received 10 or more offers, and occasionally the price is driven up by more than $100,000 or even $150,000. At this rate, we will quickly approach California real estate prices.

Mortgage rates have actually come down a bit since the beginning of the year to about 4.25%, but surprisingly for the first time ever, jumbo rates are often 1 to 2 points lower than for conventional loans.  (Jumbo rates apply to loans greater than $506,000 in King County).

1st Quarter 2013 to 1st Quarter 2014 Home Sales Comparison

2013 2014 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales

43

39

-4

Average Days on Market

26

33

7

Median List Price

$569,838

$632,622

$62,784

11.02%

Median Sales Price

$581,770

$651,281

$69,511

11.95%

List to Sales Price Ratio

101.94

103.07

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

wallingford-map

The Trend toward Urban Living

Why are so many buyers attracted to these close-in Seattle Neighborhoods?

Recently Gene Balk of the Seattle Times wrote an article based on recent census figures:

He found that for the first time in 100 years, Seattle’s population is growing faster than in its suburbs: “Between 2011 and 2012, Seattle’s population grew at a rate 25 percent faster than that of surrounding King County. During this period, Seattle’s growth rate was 67 percent faster than Bellevue’s.”

Many believe that we might be witnessing “a major demographic shift, with younger people rejecting a culture of sprawl and car-dependency associated with suburbs, and instead choosing the lifestyle offered by dense, walkable cities.”

We have certainly heard that time and again from buyers moving to Seattle.  Everybody seems to want to live in a  location where they can walk to get their groceries and coffee.  In fact, walkscore.com has become one of the primary tools for buyers to determine what is close by, especially walkable, to a home they may be considering.

This is all good news for Wallingfordians as our homes continue to appreciate.

Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Wallyhood 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. They can be contacted at [email protected] / [email protected] and through their web site, www.Key2SeattleRealEstate.com.

Wallingford Clean-Up this Saturday

It’s time to clean up, Wallingford! Join the Wallingford Chamber, the Wallingford Boys & Girls Club, City Fruit, the Wallingford Center and your neighbors to clean up North 45th Street and nearby blocks. This year we’ll be giving some love to the street trees on 45th.

Meet at Wallingford Center Saturday, April 19, at 10 am. First we’ll pick up garbage from the sidewalks and around the trees, then dig up grass and other weeds from the tree pits. All tools and gloves will be provided.

Come early for coffee and donuts and fun gear from the Dept. of Neighborhoods. Keep working and earn a pizza lunch.

Fruit tree experts from City Fruit will be on hand to answer your questions. Sign up to donate fruit from your tree or help with the neighborhood harvest.  Questions? Contact [email protected]

WCC_Spring_Clean_Flyer_ART_final_pdf

Tutu Tuesday at Irwin’s

Tutu Tuesday at Irwin'sI just discovered Tutu Tuesday at the Wallingford Irwin’s Bakery and Cafe (2123 N 40th St). I’m late to the ball–it’s been happening since November. It started with one Halloween costume and grew from there, including several handmade tutus and a lovely rainbow tutu donated by a customer. There’s even a contingent of tiny regulars whose parents bring them clad in tutus, though I wasn’t lucky enough to see them this Tuesday.

And that’s all there is to it! No special discount for showing up in a tutu, but don’t let that deter you. Tutu Tuesday adds a dash of cheerfulness to the-day-after-ugh-Monday.

Mural Complete

Thank you to everyone who donated to help create the mural for the Wallingford branch of the Seattle Public Library!

Christine Burgoyne, librarian and project spearheader tells it is complete:

In the photo shown here, you can see Seattle Public Library (SPL) staff member Gregg Natoli installing the newly completed Wallingford Library Mural. This post is to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the project, including all the Wallingford residents who generously contributed to cover expenses.

Christine wishes to thank: Heather McNamee, Wallyhood, Seattle Public Library (for use of its photo archives), Howard Giske (MOHAI – inspiration and use of photo archives), Brandon MacInnis and Cheryl Tsuhako (graphic artists – donated their time to create the mural), Cat Saunders (Seattle counselor and author – served as project editor), Dawn Stanley (United Reprographics – mural printing and exceptional customer service), Gregg Natoli (of SPL – mural installation and positive attitude), Wells Fargo Bank in Wallingford (for cheerfully keeping track of donations) and all those who donated to the project: Alexis D. Greenberg (dedicated to Signe Arick),  Arlys and Jerry Pederson, Cat Saunders, Geraldine Troy, JoAnn and Tom Feher, John A. Ott, John Giovine, John LaCasse, Judy and David Moise, Luther F. Black and C. Christina Wright, Mark and Lara Simmons, Mary Lowenthal Felstiner, Morgan Barry and Bill Johnson, Nancy Louise Merrill, Stuart Herrick, and their three chickens, Rebecca T. Durham and Pat McDonald.

And, of course, everyone is invited to come see it! The Wallingford Library is located in the Solid Ground building, 1501 N 45th St.

photo (11)

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