Kite Hill Closed

While this is probably old news to pretty much everyone but me, Kite Hill, and most of the mid-section of Gas Works Park is closed, and will remain so until Memorial Day 2015. I mean, yeah, Lee posted about it on these very pages back in February, but somehow it didn’t sink in that this towering icon of our neighborhood would be off-limits for eight months.

So, yeah, Kite Hill is closed until May 2015. They’re replacing all of the topsoil with clean topsoil in advance of offshore sediment clean-up planned for the future. The issue is that there are still toxins in both the soil of Gas Works and in the off-shore floor of Lake Union left over from the era when Gas Works was, in fact, a gas works. According the city:

One of the issues associated with the sediment work is the potential recontamination of the remedy from outside source(s) including uncovered areas of the park where there may be contamination at the surface. By adding clean soil to Kite Hill the risk of recontamination of the sediment from the surface flow of storm water is minimized. Both Ecology and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are very supportive of this early action as we move towards the sediment remedy.

The city promises everything will be put back where they found it, except “the intermediate path on the south side of the hill,” which will be eliminated.

2014-10-18 13.51.24

2014-10-18 13.31.38



Dinging at Dick’s

Chris Harmon writes:

I stopped at Dick’s for a soft drink.  As I got out of my car a 20-something fella came trotting over asking if the car I was in was mine.  I said yes then he said he had noticed a couple of dings and scratches and said he could fix them on the spot. I replied with a firm and annoyed NO.  He didn’t try to convince me.  I watched where he went and it was to his fancy black shiny pickup with Washington license plates parked along the footpath on Dick’s property.  There were 2 or 3 other young hotshots hanging out ready to scam someone. I had a previous encounter last year by same type of people in a similar shiny black SUV vehicle with California license plates at Bartell’s in Roosevelt district. Beware of shade tree body shop fixer uppers. 

I’ve had related emails in the past from folks who were not so savvy as Chris, and lost some money to these folks.

Real Estate Update

(This is a sponsored post from Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski, of Keller Williams)

Wallingford Real Estate Update – Single Family Homes
UntitledWe all hear so much about real estate every day, but in this article we are focusing on our micro area so you may get a true picture of what is happening with YOUR real estate investment. In our statistics we have captured just Wallingford and Tangletown (see map) which seem to be keeping on par with one another in housing values and trends. Finally, we break out single family homes including townhomes because analyzing condominiums yields different results and trends. Stay tuned for another article focusing on the Wallingford/Green Lake condo market.

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

Comparison Quarters 2 & 3 from 2013 to 2014 (April – September)
The Wallingford upturn started earlier than in many other Seattle neighborhoods so 2013 was a very hot year in real estate with 12.3% appreciation compared to 2012 and continues to be very competitive in 2014. However, inventory was down by 15.5% this year causing a shortage of homes for sale, leading to a further increase in bidding wars and continued price appreciation. The median sales price rose 9.24% this year from last with the average sales price landing 3.2% over this list price, and we saw escalations as high as 20% over market for certain properties. Average days on market remained the same at 14 days, but only because listing agents almost always held the property on market for at least 1 week before looking at offers, giving the market a chance to discover the property and compete for it.

2nd & 3rd  Qtr ’13 compared to 2nd & 3rd Qtr ‘14 2013 2014 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 167 141 -26  -15.56%
Average Days on Market 14 14 0
Median  List Price $585,000 630,000 $45,000 +7.69%
Median  Sales Price $595,000 649,950 $54,950 +9.24%
List to Sales Price Ratio 101.7% 103.2%

What the trends are telling us

The following charts capture all of Wallingford and Green Lake real estate trends over the last 15 months. This bar graph 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 with the light green bars there were clearly less homes for sale this year, yet buying activity was even stronger than last year (see red line). Yet, actual closed sales (dark green) are fewer than last year due to the lower supply in active listings. Intense bidding wars and price increases are how these statistics played out in the marketplace.


In this chart the green line represents the average list price of a home while the red line shows the final sales price. This picture is a bit erratic and the September numbers show an average list price far greater than the resulting sales prices. It is not unusual after an extreme sellers’ market for sellers to get emboldened and shoot for the moon with their pricing. But eventually buyers push back and prices stop escalating so rapidly causing the market to become more balanced.


Finally, this chart illustrates months of inventory. It is derived based on a calculation dividing the number of homes for sale by the number of homes that went under contract 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, and in our case, most of the time we were under 1 month of inventory which translates into a “crazy sellers’ market”. Certainly, that is what we have been experiencing this last year as real estate brokers.


This Too Shall Change
We are seeing indicators of a changing market and certainly that is bound to happen. But in Wallingford we are experiencing only a small softening at this time. The true test will come in the early months of 2015 after our usual holiday lull. Will buyers continue to be out in full force? Will more sellers be bringing their homes to market thus bringing up housing inventory numbers? Will interest rates start rising as we have been hearing for some time now? Currently, 30-year mortgages are back below 4%, but for how long?

Barring any unforeseen major changes, we expect the strong housing market to continue in Wallingford, but perhaps not as dramatic as this last year. The strength of our local economy continues, Wallingford attracts exciting new businesses adding to our urban walkable offerings, our schools are excellent and commuting from Wallingford to almost anywhere is a breeze. All these factors contribute to keep making Wallingford real estate a desirable commodity besides being the neighborhood we all love to live and thrive in.

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.

Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski
[email protected] / [email protected]
Keller Williams Greater Seattle
1307 N 45th St, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98103

Halloween Hoopla

The Wallingford Boys & Girls Club (1310 N. 45th St) presents its annual Halloween Hoopla event next Saturday, October 25th from 6 – 9 pm:


Celtic Festival at St Andrews (10/18)

fling_dancer_800St. Andrews Church is holding a Celtic Festival tomorrow, Saturday 10/18 from 9 – 5 pm:

Please join us for a celebration of the art, music and culture of the British Isles!

Enjoy the Celtic Music festival (read more below) featuring these great local bands:

  • Noon – Seirm
  • 1 pm – Dinas o Frain
  • 2 pm – Crònan

Bring your kids. Have high tea at 1 or 3 p.m., $18 (contact Ruby, 206-523-7476 for tickets)

Have lunch at the Scotty Dog Café. Unwind in Andy’s Pub. Shop for gifts from the British Isles

2013 Celtic Fling Musical Lineup:

SEIRM: Seirm means harmony in Scottish Gaelic and is a community céilidh band of singers and instrument players who meet regularly throughout the school year to create fun, traditional, and innovative Gaelic music together. The main musical program of Slighe nan Gaidheal, Washington’s Gaelic language and cultural society, Seirm enjoys sharing their music in performances such as the Celtic Fling to develop broader interest and awareness in the wonderful Scottish Gaelic music and song tradition. During the spring and summer, members of Seirm perform at various events such as Highland Games, the Northwest Folklife Festival, and the Shepherds’ Extravaganza at the Puyallup Spring Fair. Website:

Dinas o Frain meaning “City of Crows” is a local group with repertoire in traditional Welsh dance music, has entertained in pubs, coffeehouses, weddings and other private functions. They have played at many local Welsh events, most notably Seattle’s annual St. David’s Day celebration and the Black Diamond Welsh Heritage festival and have performed for several years at the Northwest FolkLife Festival. In the past, members Laura Lovell on bouzouki and fiddle with Kevin Gow on flute, whistle and concertina have performed with many fine musicians, but are now pleased to have a new permanent member, Motter (Mo) Snell, harpist. The harp adds a deep dimension to Welsh music creating a pleasing musical blend, interweaving spirited dance tunes and elegant arrangements to the dance tunes and songs of Wales. Read more.

Crònan has played together for the last 10 years. Scottish & Irish music & Gaelic Song- Haunting laments to rabble rousing reels & jumping jigs. Performers:

  • Christine Traxler- fiddle, bodhran;

  • Christian Hoffman- bazouki, guitar, concertina, harmonica, vocals;

  • Judith Cummings- harp, fiddle, vocal, whistle;

  • Dale Cummings- guitar, Irish flute, vocals

Lincoln High Reunion

lincoln-crowded-hall-web1Don Ford, Lincoln High Class Representative ’49, writes:

LINCOLN LYNX ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING will be held on Saturday, October 18 at 1pm in the Little Theater at Lincoln High School. ALL LINCOLN LYNX ARE WELCOME! The meeting will start at 1pm with light refreshments to follow, Entrance to the Little Theater is on N. 43rd (south side of bldg). A tour of the building will be available if you so desire.

Remember, Lincoln High is schedule to RE-OPEN, with an estimated re-opening date of Fall 2019. The estimated construction date for the remodel is set for June 2018. This would be a great opportunity to see the “Old” Lincoln High School before she re-emerges as the “New” Lincoln High School. Loyal Lynx, Forever!

(Photo of Lincoln High hallway, c. 1950, from Paul Dorpat’s blog)

Scarecrow Grand Reopening

IVSD3 2014Scarecrow Video (once a Wallyhood sponsor) has completed its transition from a privately owned company to The Scarecrow Project, a non-profit (see earlier article on their Kickstarter campaign to help fund the switch), and are holding a Grand Re-Opening event to celebrate the move:

In August of this year, The Scarecrow Project, a new non-profit, launched a Kickstarter campaign in order raise the funds necessary to take-over the stewardship of the world-renown Scarecrow Video.  With over 1800 donors pledging their support either online or in the store, this crowd-funding campaign was an overwhelming success.  Now, with the plan in place and the funds secured, this dream is becoming reality.

This Saturday, October 18th, begins the next chapter in Scarecrow’s history and we invite movie lovers everywhere to join us in celebration!  In a serendipitous stroke, this Saturday is also the 4th Annual International Video Store Day – a day set aside to show extra love and support to all our favorite video stores.  As if this isn’t enticement enough, here are a few more reasons why Scarecrow Video should be your destination this Saturday:

  • 50% off all Criterion titles! (No fooling!)
  • Additional sales on New & Used titles
  • Box Art Bingo
  • Geeks Who Drink video trivia rounds
  • Chocolati temptations
  • Music, prizes, giveaways and lots more!

Come join in the festivities!  Whether you are a long-time supporter or just discovering Scarecrow Video for the first time, come be a part of the beginning of the future of this world famous, one-of-a-kind film experience that can only be found here in Seattle!

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