Bellevue Farmers Market

A sure sign of spring – this Thursday, May 18th, is opening day for the Bellevue Farmers Market. Back at its familiar location, vendors will be setting up in the parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church (1717 Bellevue Way NE just north of downtown) with ample parking available. The market will be open every Thursday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, rain or shine, from May 18th through October 12th. (Pets are not permitted except service animals.)

 

 

WRE color logo jpg
Windermere Real Estate
A proud sponsor of the Bellevue Farmers Market since 2004.

 

 

 

Selling in a Hot Market

cleaning

flickr/sgrace

Yes, its a seller’s market, but if you’re planning to sell your home, don’t think you can forego the typical prep work associated with getting your home ready to show to buyers. This is the time of year more homes are listed for sale, and more inventory brings more competition. With more to choose from buyers may not be willing to pay top dollar for a dirty, dated or poorly maintained home.

There are easy, inexpensive tasks a homeowner can complete in a weekend or two that make a big difference.

  • CLEAN (and clean again) – pay special attention to the kitchen and baths.
  • DE-CLUTTER – remove clutter in closets, cabinets, drawers and garages. “Martha Stewart” your house and show off the storage space.
  • PAINT – If a room or hallway is looking tired a fresh coat of paint is inexpensive and makes a big difference.
  • MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION – Curb appeal is huge. The saying “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” is true in any market. Paint the entry door (if the HOA permits), install a new kick plate, toss tired winter plants and put fresh flowers and mulch in entry pots or gardens.
  • LET THE SUN SHINE IN – open window treatments, remove or replace tired drapes or blinds. Clean the windows – maximize your home’s natural light.

Some work will require professional help but its worth the investment. Have the furnace and A/C serviced. If other systems, appliances or fixtures need repair get it scheduled.

Multiple offers are common and many homes are selling quickly and for more than list price, but that doesn’t mean a free pass for neglecting repairs or cleaning. A home should be delivered to the new owner in clean and good condition.

It takes considerable time and energy to get a home ready to sell, but the payoff (return on investment) is worth the effort. I specialize in condos. I know what’s been happening in your neighborhood and your home’s market value. When its time to sell let’s talk . . . I have information and referrals for cleaners, contractors, landscapers, resources for donating or disposal and can help you maximize your return on investment.

Bellevue Downtown Park Expansion

Downtown Park Intersection Closure

photo courtesy City of Bellevue

The “Complete the Circle” project at the Downtown Park is underway with work scheduled to be completed in time for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. The expansion includes completion of the last section of the circular canal and tree lined promenade, creating a new entry and water feature at the south end of the park, upgrading the playground to create a universally accessible Inspiration Playground, adding landscaping and terraced seating and enlarging the parking lot on 100th Avenue NE.

Construction of the park’s new south entry and pedestrian crossing caused the closure of the intersection at NE First Street and 102nd Avenue NE this week. The intersection is expected to open again mid-to-late April.

The Downtown Park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of the city and the centerpiece of the Bellevue Parks System. There’s something for everyone . . . a half mile level tree-lined promenade, canal, waterfall and reflecting pond, a ten acre lawn area, playground, picnic areas and formal gardens . . . all framed by views of Bellevue’s skyline and Mt. Rainier. It will be exciting to see the improvements and have the park open again this summer.

S. Bellevue Park & Ride Closure

Sound Transit light railThe 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.

Visit www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/Parking/plan-ahead-2017-park-and-ride-closures for an interactive map showing the new park & ride locations. Learn about eligibility to earn perks and rewards at justonetrip.org (click on the “resources” tab)

 

New Bellevue Condos

downtown-park-fountain-2-compressedAll recent residential construction in downtown Bellevue has been rental apartments. No new condominiums have been built since the completion of Bellevue Towers in 2009. With the growth and appeal of urban living, the demand for condominiums in downtown Bellevue has been strong for the past several years. Unfortunately, the limited amount of resale inventory has left many buyers with few choices.

Bosa Development, developer of the 698 unit Insignia condos in downtown Seattle, has plans to construct a 21 story residential tower with street level retail at the SE corner of Bellevue Way NE and NE 2nd Street. The community, to be named One88, will feature high-end residences. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017. Bosa Development recently purchased another parcel in downtown Bellevue at NE 8th Street and 106th Avenue NE where it is anticipated condominiums with street level retail will be built.     The property is currently home to a strip retail center.

Its Your City

BELLGATE  - sculpture by Lee Kelley

Small things can make a big difference and making even a small effort every day can have a big impact on the quality of where you live. Next time you’re walking to dinner or the movies, spending time with your kids in the park or walking your dog, take a minute to make a difference.

  • There is no Poop Fairy! Make it a habit to pick up more poop. Certainly clean up after your own dog but carry an extra bag on your next dog walk and pick up someone else’s dog’s poop.
  • Report it if you see a problem. Did a truck lose some of its gravel load in the street? Has overgrown landscaping blocked a sidewalk? Is a clogged storm drain overflowing? Its quick and easy to report problems using the MyBellevue app on your phone. Touch the “new request” button to report a problem or to request a service.
  • While the City of Bellevue does a great job maintaining the city’s parks, landscape and maintenance staff can’t be everywhere all the time (see Poop Fairy above). Lend a hand  –  if you see trash left behind, pick it up and place it in the closest trash can.
  • SLOW DOWN! As Bellevue’s residential and employment population grows so do the number of pedestrians on the streets. As a courtesy and to keep our streets safe, slow down, pay attention, look twice before making that right-turn-on-red and NO cell phone use or texting. The city is full of people young and old, bike riders, children and pets  –  keep everyone safe.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Watch out for one anther, children and pets. You could discover a new friend, baby sitter, dog walker and maybe something new about your neighborhood.
  • Volunteer. Check with local non-profit organizations and the City of Bellevue website for volunteer opportunities.
  • Unfortunately one of the hazards of a growing city is an increase in homelessness. Next time you see someone who is obviously homeless, make eye contact, smile, say hello. Acknowledgement of another person can make their day. Carry $5 Starbucks cards and occasionally hand them out  –  the ability to buy a hot drink or sandwich for someone who doesn’t have the means to do so could make a big difference.
  • Shop local. Support the many locally owned stores and restaurants throughout Bellevue. Visit area farmers markets.
  • VOTE! There’s no better way to make your voice heard.

Plan Ahead for Traffic Revisions

detour-signWith so many buildings under construction and, along with staging and construction of the light rail system, there are going to be temporary and long term delays and detours in and around downtown Bellevue. Here are the current long term detours to watch for in the coming months.

  • 120th Avenue between Bel-Red Road (NE 12th Street) and Northup Way (NE 20th Street) will be closed through April 2017 for construction of a new light rail bridge.
  • 110th Avenue NE from Main Street and 112th Avenue SE to 110th Avenue NE/NE 6th Street will have ongoing closures through late 2016 for installation of light rail tunnel monitoring equipment.
  • NE 2nd Place from 110th  Avenue NE to 111th  Avenue NE will be closed through 2018 for use as a staging area for Sound Transit

There will likely be other occasional closures in the coming months, so be patient and flexible with your route planning and timing – trips could take a few minutes longer than expected.