The south Bellevue Park-and-Ride will be closing for East Link light rail construction. The site will be used to stage equipment and materials for construction of the light rail track, station and a new 1,500 stall parking garage. The Bellevue park & ride could close as early as January 2017 and will remain closed for up to five years, though Sound Transit and the contractor hope to explore opportunities to reopen the park & ride sooner if possible.
To serve commuters during this closure Sound Transit has opened several new park & ride locations and expanded other lots. Bus routes serving the new park-and-ride lots will connect with many of the same routes and destinations as those currently served at the South Bellevue Location.
No doubt this is going to be inconvenient, but the outcome – better and faster transit options for our region – will be worth the wait. Plan ahead to deal with the long term closures of both the South Bellevue and Overlake park & ride facilities. Sound Transit and King County Metro have partnered to help commuters find transportation options and earn rewards for taxi, Uber and Lyft discounts, Orca cards, transit vouchers and more.
Loan limits for mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase next year for the first time in ten years. In recognition of rising home prices nationwide, the loan limit for a conforming loan (not a jumbo loan) will increase from $417,000 to $424,100. For areas like the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area, which have a more expensive housing market, loan limits are much higher. In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties conforming loan limits will increase from $540,500 to $592,250 next year.
What does this mean if you’re planning to purchase a home in 2017? Jumbo mortgage loans (over the new limit of $592,250) generally have higher interest rates, require higher credit scores and larger down payments of 15-20%. These steep requirements can keep many highly qualified home buyers out of the market – buyers who have the income and employment history to qualify for a loan but don’t have a 20% down payment. When the conforming loan limit is raised, it opens the door giving qualified buyers with 3%, 5% or 10% down an opportunity to get in the game.
If you haven’t talked with a lender or Realtor® lately, now would be the time to start that conversation to see how the increase in loan limits could benefit you.
Long time Bellevue residents may remember when there was a Duke’s Chowder house in downtown Bellevue adjacent to the original QFC grocery store and Thompson Drugs on NE 8th Street and its later move to Lake Bellevue. Dukes closed that location and left Bellevue in 2001.
The ownership of Duke’s announced this week plans for a new restaurant opening next year in the new Lincoln Square expansion at The Bellevue Collection. The new location, targeted for a late April 2017 opening, will be on the second floor near the new W Hotel. Duke’s will be one of 12 restaurants in the Lincoln Square expansion.
Duke’s was a popular Bellevue destination – it will be great to have Duke’s downtown again.